Summer is just weeks away! As you’re planning family adventures, consider taking the artistic route. Good Day NWA takes you on a tour of local murals and meets up with a few of the artists along the way.
Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley are already a sight to see, and now visual artists are adding to their awe. One of them is Brandon Bullette. His newest mural is on the side of George’s Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville, creating a colorful mix of musicians.
“You know, a mural is like the first indication that there’s a group of people out there that just want this place better and more beautiful.” – Brandon Bullette, Visual Artist
Fayetteville’s Downtown Square features a lot of outdoor art. The “Fayetteville is my Favorite-ville” mural by artist Olivia Trimble is a hot spot for selfies! You can find the mural on the backside of the Experience Fayetteville building at 21 S. Block Ave.
Public art is surfacing in Springdale, too. Erin Ashcraft is the artist behind “Arkansas Heat.” Her work is one of seven new murals in the downtown Arts District. Her mural is inspired by her childhood and can be seen at 134 W. Emma Ave.
“People are hungry to see different styles, different messages, different ideas expressed” – Octavio Logo, Visual Artist
Local artist Octavio Logo is no stranger to the visual art movement in the community. You can find his work all Northwest Arkansas. Logo, a native from Mexico City, finds his inspiration in the stories of people who’ve come to call our area home. His mural “Agave in the Ozarks” ,located at 8th St. Market in Bentonville serves as a bridge between two cultures. “She’s kind of this goddess coming from Mexico to the Ozarks,” said Logo.
Logo has additional work at the newly renovated Railyard Park in Rogers. Its tall water towers transformed into art installations alongside slides and a splash pad.
Walk up the street in Rogers and you’ll find works by Samuel Hale.
“They just let me go wild on a train which was cool” – Samuel Hale, Muralist
Hale’s “Revenge of the Buffalo” mural is painted on the side of a train car overlooking the Railyard Bike Park. Hale says it was on honor to have his work featured along with so many other talented artists. Just a few steps away — his Rosa Parks mural. It echoes a theme of many other murals… “unite.” You can also find Hale’s work in Fayetteville like his “Solidarity” mural below.
And it’s not just local artists making that statement. Internationally known artist Nina Chanel Abney is from Chicago. The artist says she uses bright colors to draw in viewers as they pass by her work in Bentonville called “Mull it Over”. “My interpretation of the theme unite is thinking about what is currently going in the last year and just kind of historically and thinking about it can’t be unity unless everyone is respected equally” said Abney.
Hers is one of 12 murals with the theme “unite”, all organized by the group OZ Art NWA — to bring world-class artists to our area. Elizabeth Miller, Art Collection Manager for Oz Art NWA says it was a collaborative effort with the Unexpected Project out of Fort Smith and JustKids.
The River Valley is also a major hub for visual art. The Unexpected first brought street art to downtown Fort Smith back in 2015. It’s a production of 64/6 Downtown that brings all kinds of artistic expression to the River Valley, from as far away as Ireland, Portugal and Brazil.
And the best part? You can enjoy it at your own pace. Drive or walk by or linger a while. It’s accessible and free family fun to add to your summer bucket list!
What are your favorite murals in our region? Share your pictures with us!