The Unexpected announces artist and venue lineup


FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA) — The fifth edition of The Unexpected has announced the artist and venue lineup.

The Unexpected will take place in Fort Smith on October 7-12.

Activities and artworks will take place in the downtown footprint creating an easily walk-able experience and will include hands-on activities for both adults and children.

This year’s artistic lineup, curated by global creative house Justkids, includes legendary Spanish artist and muralist Okuda San Miguel returning for his second installment of The Unexpected. Okuda will complete a 360-degree installation takeover of a home at 1319 G Street in his distinctive style of colorful geometric patterns that portray animals, regional iconography and human figures.

Three blocks southwest of Okuda, London based artist Camille Walala joins The Unexpected for the first time with an entire service station takeover.

The station will be completed in her trademark tribal pop style, bringing bold and playful graphic patterns and colors to the intersection at Grand Avenue and 11th street, transforming a typical location into an exciting visual site.

On the west side of downtown, the emerging Bakery District will play host to Hilda Palafox

The Mexico City-based artist, also known as Poni, will complete a two-part mural on the Bakery Silos.

Poni’s work brings subtle suggestions of expressions and emotions held together by light bodies and romantic surroundings.

Adding to the eclectic scope of the lineup is Scottish born, London based poet, artist and sculptor Robert Montgomery, known for his site-specific installations created from light and text, who will bring an original light poem to Towson Avenue, adding to an already impressive gallery of mural art added in 2018.

In addition to the public art projects, The Unexpected brings French visual and performance artist Alexandre Bavard, delivering an adaptation of his performative piece BULKY, never before seen in the U.S.

The performance piece, choreographed by Alexandre Bavard, features his original music, reinterprets the tag gestures through a dance system, interrogating the limitations of street art exposed in galleries and institutional spaces.

Fort Smith composer Amos Cochran presents Memory Dissolve an immersive experience playing on the effects memories have on us and the idea that we can rid ourselves of bad ones, even momentarily, through art.

Bastion Gallery will be transformed into a space filled with music, light, repetitive rhythmic patterns, taking the audience through a series of emotions and ideas culminating in the dissolution of music notes.

Additional activities, curated by The Unexpected, include:

  • October 5: Kick off Block Party in partnership with Future School of Fort Smith, including a free family friendly concert by National Park Radio
  • October 5-6: Fort Smith high schools Northside and Southside complete a joint exhibition at Bastion Gallery
  • October 10: Concert in Garrison Commons by hometown favorite Escape Tones
  • October 10-12: Fort Smith composer and musician Amos Cochran brings music and light to Bastion Gallery
  • October 10: Company Club hosts their monthly Breakfast Club with keynote speaker, Pia Agrawal, Curator of Performing Arts at The Momentary
  • October 11-12: Bands at participating venues along Garrison Avenue, including a show with House of Songs artist Tom Echols
  • October 12: Keynote by Alexandre Bavard
  • October 12: Keynote by Jia Jiang, leader of 100 Days of Rejection
  • October 12: Event favorites Art Feeds and Wheel Mobile return for another day of kid and adult friendly activities

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