Taking Flight

Balloonist brings passion down to earth

Posted: July 4, 2014 at 1:30 a.m.

"If it's got wings or some way to get my feet off the ground, I'm happy." Jim Bolte says. "Flying is part of my life."


On Show


Shiloh Museum

Currently on show, “Healing Waters” takes visitors to the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History in Springdale back to earth — and under it.

Marie Demeroukas, the museum’s photo archivist and research librarian, curated the exhibit, which looks not just at Eureka Springs, best known of the Northwest Arkansas destinations for “taking the waters,” but also Electric Springs, Park Springs, Cherokee City and Eldorado, all in Benton County; Sulphur City in Washington County; Elixir Springs in Boone County; and St. Paul and Aurora in Madison County.

“The belief in the healing properties of mineral water has been around since ancient times,” Demeroukas writes in her exhibit notes. But in their heyday in the late 19th century, “springs were said to alleviate a host of illnesses.”

In 1879, the exhibit notes add, “tales of miracle cures at what would become Eureka Springs spread like wildfire. Eureka’s immediate fame and fast-paced prosperity caught the eye of several area communities blessed with mineral springs,” and the other resorts were born.

Their popularity was short-lived.

“The 1910s saw major advances in the science and standards of medical care, leading to the professionalism of medicine. Reliance on natural cures faded by the end of World War I.”

The “Healing Waters” exhibit will remain on view through Dec. 13. This weekend, the museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free. Information: 750-8165.

Fort Smith Museum of History

At the Fort Smith Museum of History, visitors can see the Old West through the eyes of 18th and 19th century artists such as John James Audubon, Karl Bodmer and George Catlin. “Imprinting the West: Manifest Destiny, Real and Imagined” includes 48 hand-colored lithographs and engravings portraying “the scenery and people in the American West during the period of westward European expansion and subsequent loss of Native American lands,” says Leisa Gramlich, museum director.

Curated by Randall Griffey, associate curator of modern American art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the exhibit also considers “the influence artists had on the perception of the Wild West,” a press release from ExhibitsUSA states. “Much of this imagery was created with an international or an eastern audience in mind, and it both drew from and promoted fantasies about Native Americans and the West as much as it documented reality.”

“Imprinting the West” will remain on show through Aug. 10. This weekend, the museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $2-$5. Information: 783-7841.

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