Totor donated by French artist
If you haven’t had the opportunity to explore the grounds of the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center, I strongly recommend piling in the car and heading that direction. In addition to the teaching garden, rain garden, and greenhouse (all amazing fun on their own), the grounds reflect the topography of Arkansas’s ecosystems, from the native hardwood trees in the highlands to vegetation of the wetland areas, which are both planted and original to the site, creating opportunities to learn the names of the trees and plants. Children’s is home to a short, kid-friendly walking trail where you can explore a number of photo-op ready statues and artworks.
Right as you approach the library, you will find “A Day at the Library,” by Ryan Mays. Near the greenhouse and solar panels, you will find “Imagine Peace,” by Alice Guffey Miller.
In the wetland area, you can see “Allie’s Favorite Book” by Russell Lemond (bonus points if you can tell what she’s reading).
And now, hanging out in the Interpretation Amphitheater, you will find “Totor,” a piece installed in September 2019 by artist Stéphane Bolongaro. Totor stands at around 10 feet tall, and can be found casually leaning on a tree. He can be seen from the entrance, beckoning kids to come and join him. Totor is a work from the artist’s imagination, but the idea was loosely inspired by his mother’s Jack Russel dog. Similar Totor dog statues can be found in North Miami Beach, Florida, Detroit, and several call Nice, France home. Totor can be found cruising by on a bike or skateboard, leaning on many a tree, and sitting on a bench. We invite you come take your photo with Totor!
Born June 30, 1963 from Nice, France, Bolongaro comes from a family of artists. When he was a child, he was found to be exceptionally gifted and managed to develop aspects of his personality through the expression of his art. He began by sculpting robots in 1999 and incorporated everyday objects such as televisions and hi-fi stereo systems. Then, Bolongaro became interested in fantasized women and began to represent them in closed places in order to evoke their inaccessibility. He spent a period working on UFOs and aliens. His work is often described as playful and humorous; he loves to feed his inner child through his work.