photo of the week

A Comfortable Illusion

The interior of Anthony Chapel gives you the illusion that you are still outdoors.  Fortunately this feeling stops short of climatic conditions.  The air conditioning system works well, a necessary remedy for sticky southern summers.  I'm not sure how they did it, but even the acoustics in the chapel seem to be perfect.  Perhaps the cacophony of "rafters" breaks up any untoward echoes.

Anthony Chapel

Sunday, February 23, 2014
Pine Buff, Arkansas

Author’s Note:

As spring creeps up on us in the southern climes, we tend to get a bit impatient, particularly when we have shivered through record cold snaps for the last several weeks.  That said, we are slipping backwards to one of the best places on the planet to observe spring, to wit:  Garvan Gardens in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  It is, among other things, home to the Anthony Chapel, a spectacular edifice of worship.  Step back to April 10, 2011, as we take a second look.

Also take a look at Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind and see a fine collection of wood boats.  The weekend I was there boat owners from far and wide brought their craft for a two-day event.


Joe Dempsey 

the chapel

A Natural Fit.

The strong vertical lines of the chapel seem to be an extension of the tall pine trees surrounding the building.  It's as if the chapel sprouted where it is because that's where it was meant to be.

It Belongs There.

First Published on Sunday, April 10, 2011
Pine Buff, Arkansas

It is said that the benchmark question for the appearance of a building is:  Does it look like it is supposed to be where it is?  When you first see Anthony Chapel in Garvan Woodlandand Gardens near Hot Springs, Arkansas, you blurt out the answer without asking the question.  "Wow, that chapel looks like it is supposed to be here."

Under the soaring roof, the ceiling stretches 57 feet from floor to ceiling.  The structure's side window walls are from just above ground level to the roof.  The end window walls are the same.  Skylights let light pour in from above.

And when you walk in, enough of the outdoor illusion persists to make you believe you have not lost touch with the natural surroundings, but now have a comfortable seat from which to enjoy them.

Anthony Chapel is an immensely popular venue for weddings, the fact of which was brought home to bear as I completed the interior shot displayed at the top of the page.  During the last few exposures, participants began arriving for a rehearsal prior to nuptials later that day.  One woman, probably a parent, seemed a bit concerned that I was there.  In my best diplomatic mode, I explained that my work was completed and that I would soon be history.  The tension broke and yours truly and family members bantered a bit as I broke down my equipment.  Perhaps it was the peaceful atmosphere.

As I was leaving the grounds, I noticed the groomsmen in their penguin costumes strolling toward the Chapel.  One had already shed his coat in the extra warm spring sun.  Happy that the air conditioning in my pickup was fully functional, I did not envy their next hour or so.  But silently I wished them well.  Seemed like the thing to do.

Photo Notes

Nikon D300 Nikon D300 / Tripod mounted / ISO 200; Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6 EX DC HSM, ISO 200.  Shots composited.  Base exposure for exterior 1/160@f7.1, for interior 1/80@f4.5.  Post processed with Perfect Resize Pro, Photoshop CS5 Extended and HDR Express.


see more
If you like old wood boats,
go to Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind
and see a great flotilla of these classic craft
at the Garvan Gardens Classic and Antique
Boat Show not far from the Chapel.
It was a great collection of fine wood,
shiny chrome, and informative folks.

go now and enjoy go go3 gogo gogogo
weekly grist grist
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go to potw 204
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