M. FORD CREECH ANTIQUES & FINE ARTS

 

(Home Page: www.mfordcreech.com)

 

 

Norwood CreecH : ARKANSAS

 

Arkansas / Tennessee Contemporary

 

 

   It is said that until Norwood Creech (of Poinsett County) began to depict them, no one had attempted the

“boring flat landscapes” of Arkansas.  Through Norwood’s eyes, they are far from boring.

 

 

Many do not realize that Arkansas has a long and vital role on our continent.  As the Ice Age ended, what is now Arkansas became an area rich in water, forests and game.  As early as 11,500 BC, the climate and natural resources provided a stable environment for Native Americans, encouraging the building of dwellings and communities. When, in 1541 AD, De Soto entered Eastern Arkansas (now known as “the flood plains”), he encountered one of the largest and most highly developed Indian settlements in all of North America However, over the following 150 years, these communities completely vanished, due to diseases brought in by these European explorers, and to extended droughts in the area.

 

Arkansas entered the United States as part of the 1804 Louisiana Purchase, quickly becoming the frontier for the “cotton kingdom” of the South.  That frontier was halted in 1811-12, when the New Madrid Earthquakes and aftershocks caused extensive damage throughout Northeast Arkansas - destroying forests, farms, and settlements, and re-routing the Mississippi River, which forms the eastern border.  Large sections of dry land sank in only a few moments, leaving much of Northeast Arkansas a vast uninhabitable marsh, infested with mosquitoes.

 

As early as 1850, the government began to realize the potential of the rich alluvial soil, and set about draining the marshes to produce farmland.  In 1879, higher earthen levees were begun along the Mississippi River to further protect the land.  In 1879, it was also not unusual to see the 20 mile stretch between Jonesboro and the Mississippi as a solid sheet of water.  Among those areas flooded was Poinsett County - which was also the hardest hit by the 1927 Flood, when 300,000 acres of that county were under water.

    

Once more – in May 2011, Poinsett County and Northeast Arkansas, where drainage ditches divert the waters from the flooding Mississippi River through their flood control canals (to empty downriver from Memphis) went under water.  Not only did the water come from the Missouri diversion canals to the north, but rivers flowed backwards from the Mississippi River from the south – the dual assault inundating the lands.  

 

 

Norwood_Creech_Cabins_in _Mist _White_River_Calico_Rock

 

 

Photographs of Arkansas:

 

"A Sense of Place"

 

Not too much press was focused on these seemingly rural areas – no large cities or Starbucks or casinos were there – only what seemed like “just farmland”.    However, 48% of the nation’s rice and a large percentage of the nation's cotton come from that farmland.  The May timing was dire – many crops just planted were lost; those not yet planted faced a long dry-out period before farmers could return to the fields – forcing tender vegetation to face intense summer heat – meaning possible ruin for many farmers and residents.  This “just farmland” is the life, livelihood and industry of Eastern Arkansas – and a vital part of American commerce. 

 

The flood waters are gone.  So far, summer rains have been kind and temperatures have been normal.  But all is not well.  Many lost everything they had.  Some are struggling to begin anew.  Some have just left.  Towns are changing – dwindling – loved landmarks being razed.

 

Yet the land remains. 

It has a beauty that is haunting – if you look. 

The broad flat areas have patterns that are hypnotic. 

Horizontal horizons offer an addictive sense of space and serenity.  

Scenes often appear a time capsule.

 

It is said that until Norwood Creech (of Poinsett County) began to depict them, no one had attempted the “boring flat landscapes” of Arkansas.  Through Norwood’s eyes, they are far from boring.

 

We are pleased to offer this collection of photographs of Arkansas.  They are executed with both power and sensitivity,  imparting a rare insight to the land, and a quiet -

 

"A Sense of Place"

 

- - that to many of us recalls a kind memory of simpler times past.

 

 

Norwood Creech's works have recently been featured in the following :

   

"Delta Crossroads, Summer 2010" - click to view the 2-page article

"Perspectives of the Delta", Southern Tenant Farmers Museum, Tyronza AR,

 with Introduction and Commentary by Dr Jeannie Whayne,  Professor of History, University of Arkansas 2010

"Selected Works from the Northeast Arkansas Delta by Norwood Creech", Butler Center for Arkansas Studies,

 Arkansas Studies Institute, Little Rock, with Introduction and Commentary by Jeannie Whayne 2011

"Vivid Delta Visions", by Jack Schnedler, Features Editor, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Sunday "Style" Cover, May 2011

ABC Nightly News with Diane Sawyer (as part of ArkansasDeltaMade), June 30, 2011

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/made-america-marketing-people-product/story?id=13969196

 

For more about NORWOOD CREECH, please click below :

 
http://www.arkansas.com/blog/post/meet-arkansas-delta-artist-norwood-creec

 
 

 

 

Please click below for other Arkansas works by Norwood Creech :

 

 

 

 

 


 

Should you have further questions, please email, call, or come to visit.

 

Millicent Ford Creech

 

 901-761-1163 (gallery) /  901-827-4668 (cell)

 

581 S. PERKINS ROAD / LAURELWOOD COLLECTION / MEMPHIS, TN 38117

Hours : Wed.-Sat. 11-6, or by appointment

Private showings available

mfcreech@bellsouth.net / www.mfordcreech.com

 

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Norwood Creech - A Sense of Place, images of Arkansas