The artists for the fourth edition of The Unexpected in Fort Smith were announced by 64.6 Downtown and JustKids on Thursday.
The Unexpected public art festival will be Oct. 22-28. Events and artworks will take place in downtown Fort Smith and offer a walkable experience with hands-on activities for both adults and children.
This year’s artistic lineup includes Puerto Rican muralist Alexis Diaz, returning for his second installment of The Unexpected. Diaz joined The Unexpected in 2016 to complete a satellite mural piece in Fayetteville that became internationally acclaimed. Diaz will complete a mural on Towson Avenue and D Street in his trademark, hand-painted cross-hatch technique, giving his mural the appearance of a detailed ink drawing, a news release from The Unexpected states.
Across the street from Diaz, Fort Smith artist Nate Meyers, known by the moniker Buffalo, will add his unique flair to the Habitat for Humanity Restore building. Buffalo is known for his “trademark geometric pattern using bold colors and patterns, building optical illusions to create a vibrant façade for the building,” the release adds.
A few steps north on the Jay’s Appliance building, British graffiti artist Pref will merge and layer letters into his world-renowned signature style featuring a distinct use of typography to “create amalgamations of quippy sayings, often placing one word inside of another to give his artwork piece multiple readings and perspectives,” the release describes.
Adjacent to the Jay’s Appliance building, Portuguese artist and master tile pattern painter, Add Fuel, will take on the entire 200 block of Towson Avenue. The Unexpected organizers say the monumental project will breath new life onto the avenue, combining traditional decorative elements with contemporary visual references into new forms that reveal an impressive complexity and an attention to detail.
Directly on Garrison Avenue in the 800 block, Ana Maria will join the line-up once again to bring her beloved mural style of interpretive storytelling with different dimensions of life and time as well as characters with mixed phenotypes — animal, mechanical and human.
The Puerto Rican-born artist now lives in Fort Smith.
Adding to the eclectic scope of the line-up is Chicago-based artist Cody Hudson. He will complete a wrap of the abandoned Tankersley Brothers warehouse across from the newly restored Masonic Temple on Grand Ave and North B Street. His mural will add distinct abstract work and vibrant color to the former unassuming building.
In addition to the public art projects, The Unexpected will activate a pop-up gallery space at Bastion Gallery on Garrison Avenue, featuring work by Tulsa-based artist Yatika Starr Fields, who is also taking part in Crystal Bridges exhibition “Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices 1950s to Now.” The exhibition features the work of 40 indigenous American and Canadian artists.
Finally, Fort Smith high school students from Northside and Southside will complete their second collaborative mural at North Third and A streets.
The Unexpected will open its quintessential headquarters shop in the former Town Club building at 720 Garrison Ave., featuring maps, merchandise and JustKids goods.
Visitors to The Unexpected can also expect to see augmented activities through The Unexpected Outlier Series expanding on art, culture, music, and thought closing out the weekend Oct. 26-27. For information about the Outlier Series visit www.unexpectedfs.com.
For details, schedules, artist lineups and other information, visit www.unexpectedfs.com or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.