Fort Smith-based sculptor Greer Farris added another of his bold, gleaming metal artworks to the grounds of the Fort Smith Regional Art Museum (RAM) on Sunday.

 

The steel pedestal topped with a curve of welded, recycled steel bumpers, upon which rest three shining silver spheres, is entitled Balls to the Wall, an aviation term meaning full speed ahead at maximum power.

 

Farris, 80, left his Fort Smith family home at age 17 to begin his artistic journey, and his career has been full-speed ahead ever since. He has obtained multiple advanced degrees in art, taught art in public schools and universities for more than 40 years, and has had his eclectic art shown in more than 100 exhibitions, including at the Smithsonian Institution. Many local residents have learned the art of pottery at Farris’s Diamond G. Pottery Ranch in Fort Smith.

 

In 2020, Farris’s Pipe Dreams, an 8-foot-tall sculpture of polished, welded steel, landed as a visual highlight in front of the art museum, located at 1601 Rogers Avenue.

 

Other outdoor sculptures by Farris include a steel and aluminum work entitled Tossed About in front of the Windgate Art & Design Building at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, and Patronus, which sits on the grounds of the John L. McClellan Memorial Veteran’s Hospital in Little Rock.

 

“I like to stay busy, and making things is what I do,” Farris says. During the pandemic, he has worked in his pottery studio daily, producing more than 2,000 unique and colorful plates, platters, bowls, cannisters, and coffee mugs. His pottery is part of many personal collections around the country. Many of his pieces reflect colors and designs inspired by a chapter of his colorful life as a mule wrangler at the Grand Canyon National Park.

 

RAM’s sculpture garden features eight unique sculptures including this latest addition by Farris.

 

Celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2023, RAM features exhibitions, art classes, lectures and other programs and is open Tuesday through Sunday. There is no charge to visit the museum.

 

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