(Sept. 27, 2013) LITTLE ROCK – The State Capitol’s autumn exhibit celebrates “New Stories” at several Arkansas state parks, Secretary of State Mark Martin announced.
“The state park system is the crown jewel of Arkansas’s natural and cultural assets,” Martin said. “Those parks are continuously changing, and I am very pleased with the opportunity to share those changes with visitors to the Capitol.”
The exhibit features new interpretive exhibits at Arkansas parks, including Petit Jean State Park and the Ozark Folk Center. Extensive renovations of Petit Jean’s venerable Mather Lodge culminated this summer with the return of paintings created there in 1937 by an artist working for the Civilian Conservation Corps. At the Ozark Folk Center, a new major musicological display dedicated to the memory of the late Lieutenant Governor Winthrop Paul Rockefeller greets visitors attending concerts in the thousand-seat auditorium.
The Mississippi River State Park and Delta Heritage Trail complete the Capitol exhibit, Martin said. The Mississippi River State Park, a cooperative effort with the U.S. Forest Service, offers a sprawling new visitor center with state-of-the-art natural history exhibits. The Delta Heritage Trail, based on an extended strip of abandoned railroad right-of-way between Lexa and Arkansas City, will feature a series of wayside exhibits resembling historic rail passenger shelters.
Martin said the exhibit and the parks it features send an important message. “Individually, each of these park improvements is significant,” he said. “Together, they demonstrate that no matter how many destinations one has visited, there’s always something new and worth seeing in the Arkansas State Parks system.”
“New Stories” features graphics from the parks and the new displays. Exhibit highlights include scale recreations of one of the Delta Heritage Trail shelter/exhibits, a reduced “log wall” evoking the rustic lobby of Mather Lodge and a selection of vintage musical instruments complementing the Ozark Folk Center exhibit narrative.
“New Stories,” a collaboration between the Secretary of State’s Office and the Arkansas State Parks Exhibit Shop, will remain on display in the Capitol’s first-floor exhibit cases through November 8.