The Unexpected has added a, well, unexpected level to this year’s art festival. The Unexpected Outlier Series will bring several musical acts to downtown Fort Smith, including Backroad Anthem and Trout Fishing in America.
According to Tuesday’s (Oct. 2) statement from 64.6 Downtown, the series will include “augmented activities expanding on art, music, and thought to create an enhanced cultural experience in downtown Fort Smith.” The music is set for Oct. 26-27, with the Unexpected art festival set for Oct. 22-28.
64.6 Downtown — a nonprofit funded and created by Propak owner Steve Clark — has organized the festival since 2015. For the first two years, The Unexpected took place in the early part of September before making the jump last year to the final week of July and coinciding with the Peacemaker Music Festival.
Bands set to play in the Unexpected Outlier Series are Striking Matches, Jason Eady, and Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys, Vintage Pistol, Earl and Them, and Jacob Tovar, Backroad Anthem, Dana Louise and Allison Grace Band, and four-time Grammy nominee Trout Fishing in America.
Following are other festival events.
• Friday, Oct. 26: The Unexpected Artist panel moderated by art curator Charlotte Dutoit from Justkids. This event is free but ticketed. Link here for tickets.
• Saturday, Oct. 27 and Sunday, Oct. 28: ArtFeeds Van Gogh 2.0 Mobile art bus offering a free art activity for kids.
• Saturday, Oct. 26: Community Creative Center Mobile Pottery Bus offering a free art activity for kids and adults.
• Saturday, Oct. 27: Thomas Frey, the senior futurist at the DaVinci Institute, and Google’s top-rated futurist speaker, will talk about his “visualization of the world ahead.” This event is free but ticketed. Link here for tickets.
Bands will play at Garrison Avenue venues and are free to attend on Friday and Saturday night. Drink cups can be purchased for drink discounts at participating restaurants. Link here for a full band listing and venue schedule.
The Unexpected was the 2017 Henry Award winner for Community Tourism Development and is designed “to bring high-quality urban and contemporary art to Arkansas alongside their curatorial partner, the international creative house, Justkids.” Justkids is a creative house that conceives and produces art projects internationally. 64.6 Downtown spokeswoman Claire Kolberg said mural and other artists will be named in the near future.
The “Still I Rise” art mural from internationally-renowned artist Lakwena on the interior walls of the Sebastian County Juvenile Detention Center was among last year’s featured attractions, drawing national attention and a visit from Gov. Asa Hutchinson. Previous artist participants have included Alexis Diaz, Okuda San Miguel, Guido Van Helten, Jaz, Pastel, Faith 47, Bordalo II, Cyrcle and two-time Unexpected artists D*Face and Maser.