Eighth Annual ACANSA Arts Festival of the South


Eighth Annual ACANSA Arts Festival of the South



About the Artist: Robin Tucker

Robin Tucker is an artist from Little Rock, Arkansas. He was born in Clovis, New Mexico, and lived in Europe until the early 1970s when his family moved to Arkansas. Since then Little Rock has been home. He received a Bachelor’s degree in art from Arkansas Tech University in 1980. From 1982 through 1984 Robin studied illustration and graphic design in the graduate program at the University of Arkansas Little Rock.

From 1985 to the present, Robin has worked on large scale projects. Murals, set pieces, exhibits and commercial installations for a variety of companies and organizations. His clients include MP Productions, Wildwood Park for the Arts, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, The Summit Church, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, Fellowship Bible Church, Bylites, as well as many others.

In 2007 circumstances and events in Robin’s life led him to curtail commercial endeavors. During this time he began devoting more time to his personal work. More recently he has been deeply involved in the Argenta Mural Project, which is a collaborative effort of The Argenta Downtown Council, the City of North Little Rock, North Little Rock Tourism, and community leaders to provide a canvas for local artists to add to the beauty of the Argenta Arts District.

In addition to his tribute to American Jazz Saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, towering above the western ingress between ACANSA Gallery and Argenta Community Theater, Robin’s artistry is also found in the Argenta Arts District at Flyway Brewing (“Birds of the American Flyway” at 314 Maple Street) and Arkansas Innovation Hub (“Hard Work” at 204 E. 4th Street).

Visit Argenta Arts District’s Public Art for a map to experience more than a dozen sculptural and mural installations.

About Pharaoh Sanders

Legendary American jazz saxophonist Pharoah Sanders was born Ferrell Lee Sanders in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1940 to a City of Little Rock employee and a school cafeteria cook. Initially drawn to the visual arts, he picked up the clarinet as a student at Scipio Jones High School in North Little Rock. He later studied at Oakland City College in California, where he began his career before moving to New York City.

Collaborating with John Coltrane, Sanders played a prominent role in the development of free jazz and then spiritual jazz, which induced a meditative experience inspired by the religious concepts of Karma and Tawhid. “Coltrane’s ensembles with Sanders were some of the most controversial in the history of jazz. Their music represents a near total desertion of traditional jazz concepts, like swing and functional harmony, in favor of a teeming, irregularly structured, organic mixture of sound for sound’s sake. Strength was a necessity in that band, and as Coltrane realized, Sanders had it in abundance.”

He made his first record as a band leader in 1964. In the years following John Coltrane’s death in 1967, Sanders primarily led his own ensembles, playing in a variety of contexts including more mainstream jazz.

Sanders was awarded an NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for 2016 and was honored at a tribute concert in Washington DC on April 4, 2016. In 2020, Sanders recorded his final studio album, Promises, with the London Symphony Orchestra. Consisting of a 46-minute composition known for its “dreamlike” quality, Promises was the first major new album by Sanders in nearly two decades and received great critical acclaim.

Sanders died on September 24, 2022, at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 81.