BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — ”Prepare for landing,” will take on new meaning when flights begin their approach to XNA this summer as a new, large-scale art installation, “Ice and Slice,” created by French artist Camille Walala, will be revealed in June.

According to a press release, it takes its title from a classic line that British air hostesses would repeat to travelers on board when offering them a drink, “Would you like Ice and Slice of lemon in your drink?”

“We had so much fun installing Camille’s work in Hot Springs a few years ago and started looking for opportunities to bring her spark and positive messaging to Bentonville,” remarks Olivia Walton, who leads the vision for OZ Art NWA.

Executing a full takeover, covering everything including the rooftops of side-by-side service buildings along Regional Avenue leading to the Airport, OZ Art and Justkids “bring their vision to life in massive scale, creating a warm welcome and lasting impression for visitors to the region as well as a pleasant reminder for residents – art experiences are part of everyday life in Northwest Arkansas, and one of the many things that make this region among the best places to live in the country.”

“Northwest Arkansas is an increasingly vibrant cultural destination and Walala is a brilliant artist to signal that to visitors, even before their feet touch the ground,” Walton continues. “When thinking about artists whose work would spark joy and creativity in the community – and make an unforgettable first impression from a thousand feet above – Camille was a perfect fit.”

Within the airport terminal, central to all gates and visible from XNA’s security checkpoint, a lounge space designed by the artist will greet flyers. This interior installation is created “to give visitors an opportunity to get close to, and get a close-up with, the artist’s work.” 

Lounge furniture reflecting the “brilliant color scheme and bold patterns of the outdoor work” will make a perfect selfie-station as flyers are arriving and departing northwest Arkansas. Centrally located in the bustling airport, the lounge is positioned to “give flyers a moment of exaltation and relaxation amid travel tedium.”

“Taking over the XNA airport with 2 pieces – a mural on two massive buildings and an installation right inside the airport – was incredibly appealing for the magnitude of the project and its sky-high visibility,” remarks Walala.  “Details of the bold graphics and colors will be visible from the sky to inspire travelers and connect with the world.”

Justkids founder and curator Charlotte Dutoit expands, “Camille is such a versatile artist, perfectly aligned with OZ Art’s mission to make art accessible and part of everyday life. Her fantastic ability to breathe new life into architecture and create welcoming spaces is perfect to lift visitors’ spirits and give a taste of Bentonville’s growing art portfolio.”

The “Ice and Slice” installation will begin on May 10 with the Justkids local team executing the work.  OZ Art NWA plans a second installation with Walala on the grounds of the Momentary later this year.