Northwest Arkansas has a growing art scene that includes various galleries, museums and public art. UA students can visit places like Fayetteville, Bentonville and Rogers to view art of all mediums.

ArtVentures is a nonprofit art gallery space located in downtown Fayetteville on the Square, said Joelle Storet, ArtVenture’s gallery manager.

About 42 local artists are exclusive to ArtVentures and have new artwork in the gallery each month, Storet said.

The gallery owners rotate the artwork every month during First Thursday Fayetteville, Storet said.

First Thursday Fayetteville is an event that transforms downtown Fayetteville into an outdoor arts district with live music and food, according to Experiencing Fayetteville.

Volunteers are invited to help enrich guests’ First Thursday experience, Storet said.

“Going to art galleries and volunteering at art galleries are a great way to connect with the community,” Storet said.

ArtVentures recently finalized their exhibits for June 2019, Storet said. ArtVentures will have an exhibit called Islamic Art in Context, which will feature work from nine different Islamic artists, Storet said. The show will be on display in June 2019 alongside Eloa Jane’s work.

“We are bringing in Eloa Jane, a Brazilian architect who specializes in repurposing paper. All of her work is entirely composed of reused magazine paper,” Storet said.

In August, ArtVentures will collaborate with the Arkansas Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts to coordinate the Women to Watch event, Soret said. The event is composed of the works of well-known women artists in the area.

ArtVentures had six of their artists’ work featured on the HBO drama series True Detective in 2018, Storet said.

ArtVentures offers portraiture and drawing sessions to the public, Storet said. ArtVentures will resume portraiture and drawing sessions in the fall.

“We provide sessions where a model comes in and students who are either practicing artists or are wanting to touch base with their artististic self can come in,” Storet said.

Portraiture sessions are on Sundays and cost $15 for the public and $7 for students. Nude figure drawing sessions are on Fridays and cost $10 for the public and $3 for students.

A renowned museum, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, is located in Bentonville and is surrounded by 120 acres of trails, according to Crystal Bridges.

The permanent collection spans five centuries of American art ranging from colonial portraits of George Washington to modern art, according to Crystal Bridges.

Crystal Bridges will debut two new exhibitions this summer. The first is Nature’s Nation, an exhibit meant to illuminate connections between art and nature. The exhibit will run from May 25th-Sept. 9th. Color Field, an outdoor sculpture exhibition that explores the impact color has on lives will also debut, running from June 1-Sept. 30.

Admission to the museum and trails is free, according to Crystal Bridges.

Fenix Gallery, based in Fayetteville, is an artist collective representing over 40 artists who work in all different mediums, said Jeanne Parham, a member of the Fenix leadership committee.

Opening June 6, Fenix Gallery is partnering with the Walton Arts Center for the Our Universe visual and performing arts festival, which will run through July 27, Parham said.

During the festival, there will be a 2000-square-foot mural painted on the side of Fenix Gallery’s building.

The gallery celebrated its one-year anniversary in May 2019, Parham said.

“We’ve noticed that a lot of our attendees are UA students. If someone were interested in volunteering with Fenix Gallery, we are staffing the gallery and gallery events,” Parham said.

Fenix Gallery is located at 16 W. Center Street, which is just off of Fayetteville’s downtown square, according to Fenix Gallery.

Downtown Rogers organizes Art on the Bricks, a monthly art walk, every second Tuesday of the month, according to Go Downtown Rogers. Downtown Rogers’ businesses invite artists and musicians from across NWA to showcase their work. Attendees are encouraged to view and purchase art, listen to live music, meet with artists and support local businesses. Admission to the pop-up art galleries is free to the public.

Public art is another way to view the art scene in NWA. In Fayetteville, there are six murals located in the Downtown & Dickson Street Entertainment District as a result of Green Candy, a public art project, according to Experiencing Fayetteville.

Another form of public art in Fayetteville is “Deer, Half Deer,” a multimedia sculpture by Portugal-based artist Bordalo, according to Explore Northwest Arkansas. The sculpture depicts two deers, one in vibrant color and the other in rusted metal, fighting The sculpture located at the historic Walker-Stone House.  

Many murals can also be found in Fayetteville’s parks, including the overpass mural

“Holding On and Letting Go: The Struggles and Strength of the Tsa La Gi”, according to Experiencing Fayetteville. The mural is on the Tsa La Gi trail, which connects to the Razorback Regional Greenway.

Miranda Stith is a news editor for the Arkansas Traveler, where she previously worked as a reporter from 2018-2019.

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