The Unexpected organized by 64.6 Downtown and curated by JUSTKIDS has just wrapped up its second edition held in North West Arkansas, from September 1-12. The artist line-up included Alexis Diaz, Okuda San Miguel, Guido Van Helten, Jaz, Pastel, Faith 47, Bordalo II, Cyrcle and returning artist Maser.
Centered around 2 weeks, Unexpected, oversee by JUSTKIDS curator Charlotte Dutoit, continues its mission to bring high quality urban and contemporary art to Arkansas with exhibitions, residency programs, projects murals, indoor-outdoor installations and videos performances.
While Alexis Diaz opened The Unexpected with a widely acclaimed mural in Fayetteville, the main event took place in Fort Smith from September 2nd to 12th bringing together ten International Artists to the historic downtown and adding brand new Art pieces to last year permanent urban Interventions from Vhils, D*face and Roa among others.
Maser’s installation Argon opened the activities at the Windgate Arts and Design building of University of Arkansas Fort Smith with an interactive installation using neon, sound, and ribbon to create a three dimensional sensory immersion. The Irish artist makes you confront the dark with colors and line variations that challenge common visual representation. The exhibition will run until October 1st.
Directly from Australia, Guido Van Helten explored the idea of the hero and character from the American wild west mythology transforming the Ok Feed Mills into 3 gigantic murals representing a native American from Apache tribe, a young afro American woman and a white older man. More than the conventional symbolization of the three races, the power of the mural, comes with serenity that those three human bodies seems to escape categorization. Too big to be human to real to be paintings. They are simply profound and impactful.
From the sublime beauty (the one that actually make us dwindle) we go the wasteland. We are now in Bordalo’s world.The Portuguese artist went to the junk yard like a mad pirate searching for his gold. With everybody’s excess he created two impressive animal sculptures. A red fox is now resting in the park and an opossum hidden on a rooftop on the Downtown main avenue. More than impress for its originality and smooth ability to camouflage the objects that compose the two pieces, its a frontal evidence of our consumption and or relationship with the materials that we discard daily in Nature.
While Bordalo transforms the object original purpose to serve his own means, Spaniard Okuda also revives its possibilities. He took an entire abandoned house and created The Universal Chapel. With his signature geometric figures and multicolor patterns painted from the floor to the roof, the house stands out at the East entrance of the Town. A real masterful display of color and technic. Our girl Faith47 painted a mural with two tigers exhibiting her signature wild inspiration. The work is entitled “Royal Spirits”. The tigers are both beautiful and fatal, admire but unreachable, animals and Gods. Also sharing that spiritual depth is the Argentinians duo Jaz and Pastel. They collaborated on “Rapto Divino En Fort Smith” (The Divine Rapt in Forth Smith) their Pop American version of a still life. Vividly complex the piece stands as a strong representation of life’s struggle and spiritual exaltation. All from a parking lot!
Meanwhile Los Angeles based art duo Cyrcle created an indoor, interactive reflective video installation named “Before the Rain” on the first floor of the Unexpected HQ gallery. The piece runs down like a poem, it is he constant approaching to the origin of life and Native American references. In time before time, before Gods, before trails but not before poetry. Where else the search of our essence should have led us?
JUSTKIDS is a dynamic interface that conceives, produces and promote s comprehensive art projects on an international scale with some of the most engaging artists, curators and strategic consultants. Founded in 2014 JUSTKIDS supports a diverse team of inspirational pros and upcoming talents to meet the demands of a constantly evolving audience, delivering public Art, gallery shows, Residencies and branding, offering new consumer experiences with top tier visual artists. JUSTKIDS is the creator and producer of some of most innovative large scale art events and the consultant for some of the leading Art institution and lifestyle brands. Stay connected on Instagram and Facebook and visit webiste for more information.
64.6 Downtown is a Fort Smith non-profit committed to creating vibrant spaces in Arkansas. For more information visit www. 646downtown.com.