The network of artists, curators, designers and art consultants under the name of JUSTKIDS is organizing The Unexpected Art Festival in Fort Smith, Arkansas. A select group of downtown historic buildings are to be painted and embellished by the internationally renowned artists. Since it is a public event, audiences are invited to witness the working process of seven worldwide famous artists who will be creating unique murals in the ten square blocks of space, downtown Fort Smith. The festival’s debut lineup is finalized and the participating artists are D*Face, Vhils, Ana Maria, ROA, Maser, Ben Eine and Bicicleta Sem Freio, curated by JUSTKIDS’ own Charlotte Dutoit.
As the organizers stated, The Unexpected festival presents an opportunity to bring art to the Fort Smith community, and to engage the community on a meaningful level beyond the everyday activities. The huge, beautiful buildings are seen as a fantastic playground for the talented artists, and Fort Smith has the potential to become the largest outdoor art gallery in the state. With featured works of some of the greatest names in urban art of today, ranging from VHILS of Portugal to Ben EINE of London, the festival is sure to spark a lot of attention. Aside from the mural festival, several other related activities will be occurring during the eventful week. Chicago poet and activist Malcolm London will be holding a spoken word night on Thursday, September 10, and on Saturday, September 12, Art in the Park event will host local artists, giving them an opportunity to paint in an open-air setting.
Among the seven participating artists, some of the most prolific names in contemporary urban art are to be seen in The Unexpected festival. The UK-based urban artist D*Face is considered as one of the leading figures in urban art for over a decade now. Almost a veteran of his generation, he is regarded as a contemporary of Banksy, being at the forefront of the urban art movement. Hitting the festival is also our beloved trio Bicycle Without Brakes, Bicicleta Sem Freio, from Brazil. Their characteristic large-scale public artwork will be a perfect addition to this festival. ROA from Belgium, Maser coming from Ireland and Ana Maria from Puerto Rico are also making up this diverse line-up that will surely transform the walls of Fort Smith, Arkansas.
Starting on Thursday, September 3rd, the festival will open with a ground-breaking print show “Printology” at the university of Arkansas – Fort Smith new Windgate Arts and Design Building. Sponsored by the UAFS Foundation and curated by JUSTKIDS, this retrospective exhibition will present iconic works from the most notable artists in the Urban Scene such as Banksy, Shepard Fairey and Invader. The exhibition will be on view until the end of October, 2015. The mural festival in downtown Fort Smith, Arkansas, is scheduled from September 3rd – 12th, 2015. With its colorful program, the week of art in Fort Smith is surely going to be an exciting one for every art lover.
All images courtesy of JUSTKIDS
Ana Maria - mural
Maser - artwork
ROA - mural
Ben Eine - mural
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