Handmade paper artist Carol Funke of Cherokee Village said, "I always wanted to have textured paper. I like texture to paint on and could never find, even with rough watercolor paper, enough texture so I decided to make my own paper. I love to design and with everything I see, I try to relate to something I can do on paper." Funke has taken her work with handmade paper into areas she never imagined and her unique art style is known internationally.
The public is invited to meet Carol Funke and view an exhibit of her work at Biggers Bed and Breakfast, 20 Bluff Road in Hardy. The exhibit opens with a reception Dec. 7 from 2 to 4 p.m.
The Biggers family moved into this area in 1882. Elizabeth Thomas Biggers, widow of William Bigger from near Nashville, Tenn., came by wagon caravan with three young sons to Ash Flat. Then in 1902 a son, Bob Biggers, bought the land now known as "Biggers Bluff" and built a stately home. It was destroyed by fire, then rebuilt with the original stone and rock.
The charming stone house is now a bed and breakfast and restaurant where guests look out over the bluff at a magnificent view of the Spring River flowing through the hills of the Ozarks. Tours of this extraordinary facility will be given during the Funke reception.
Funke's husband Bob's work made them international travelers. They lived many places, including several years each in Hong Kong, China and in Budapest, Hungary. Her love of art was affirmed when she said, "Every place that we've moved, I've taken art classes to learn and broaden my knowledge."
Her training is reflected in her distinctive art form of works done with watercolor and handmade paper. The art works include: cards, stationery, sculptured dolls and wall hangings that are pieced together into wonderful quilt patterns.
Funke's work has received numerous awards. Currently her painting "Dancers" is hanging in the office of U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) in Little Rock. For the second year, one of her pictures has been chosen by the Arkansas Arts Council for its "Small Works on Paper" statewide traveling exhibit.
In Arkansas, Funke's work can be seen at the Spring River Art Gallery in Hardy and in the Fine Arts of Arkansas Exhibit in the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.