Artists from throughout the world, including two from Northwest Arkansas, will install public art pieces this week (Aug. 21-25) in downtown Fayetteville for the Green Candy project — although some of the artworks were started early, according to the city’s visitors bureau, Experience Fayetteville.
The sustainability-themed art project is presented by Experience Fayetteville and was conceived and produced by the JustKids, a global artist, curator and consultant network. Installations are planned at four locations in downtown Fayetteville.
Three separate artworks are planned for the Walker-Stone House property at 207 W. Center St. Works include a three-dimensional piece by Portuguese multimedia artist Bordalo II, known for using discarded materials in his work.
Also on display will be an installation from crochet artist Gina Gallina of Eureka Springs and an “immersive room” by Brazilian artists Bicicleta Sem Freio, known for their colorful, graphic style, according to a press release from Experience Fayetteville. The “immersive room” will be open to the public Aug. 25-27. Specific viewing times may be found at Experience Fayetteville’s Facebook page.
Three murals are also planned. Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic’s work will be located at 1 W. Mountain Ave. The Hog Haus Brewing Co. on Dickson Street will feature “cosmic work” by Argentinian artist Marina Zumi, according to Experience Fayetteville. Fayetteville-based artist Jason Jones will paint a mural at 545 W. Center St. The Green Candy project will be unveiled during a reception Aug. 25, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Walker-Stone House.
The event is hosted in collaboration with the Roots Festival and will feature live music and live screen printing. In keeping with the theme of sustainability, Experience Fayetteville has invited attendees to bring old T-shirts and apparel to be “upcycled with a limited edition design by JustKids,” according to the release. The event is free and open to the public, and maps to locate the artwork will be available.
In an earlier press release, Dutoit said Green Candy’s theme has become increasingly important.
“Cities and communities all around the world have a growing stake in developing cultural and conscious conversations around sustainability,” she said in the release. “Going beyond intellectual knowledge and approaching these problems and potential solutions with imagination is, for us, the right approach. Some of the people best suited to help reimagine our consumption and waste behavior are artists and creatives.”
In Fort Smith, a similar art event, “The Unexpected” has brought in artists from throughout the world to create artworks throughout downtown Fort Smith the last three years. The project has attracted thousands of local and tourist visitors and racked up more than 5 million views on social media channels. “The Unexpected” 2017 was completed during the week of July 23-30.
This year’s artworks included brought to the Sebastian County Juvenile Detention Center’s recreation yard a colorful mural with words from Maya Angelou’s noted poem, “Still I Rise.” Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson viewed the “The Unexpected” 2017 and afterward penned an opinion piece praising the project for Talk Business & Politics.
“The Unexpected,” like “Green Candy,” also was curated by JustKids owner Charlotte Dutoit. However, the Fort Smith project has been entirely privately funded, whereas the Fayetteville project will be supported with funds from the city’s hospitality tax revenue.