City in Arkansas again un-expects art deluge

FORT SMITH — The Unexpected is expected later this month to add another layer of colorful and sometimes bizarre public art that is turning downtown into an international art gallery.

Officials with the Unexpected announced the third group of urban contemporary artists from around the world who will focus on more than just the murals that have brightened downtown in the two earlier installments.

“It’s a wonderful slate of artists with diverse locations and styles who will bring a great program this year,” Unexpected Director Claire Kolberg said.

Artists will shift their to “interdisciplinary and participative art by revisiting historic landmarks and hidden gems of the downtown area,” a news release on the announcement said.

According to the news release, the artists will be Lakwena Maciver from England; Edgar Flores, aka Saner from Mexico; Aleksei Bordusov, aka Aec from Ukraine; Felipe Pantone of Argentina; Doze Green of New York; Crystal Wagner from Philadelphia; and Circus Family, a group of audiovisual designers from the Netherlands.

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Puerto Rican artist Ana Maria, who has become a resident artist in Fort Smith, and students from Northside and Southside high schools, also expect to create new art during the Unexpected.

An alumnus of the first Unexpected, D*Face, aka Dan Stockton of England, is expected to return to Fort Smith for the Peacemaker Music and Art Fest July 28 and 29 at Riverfront Park. The news release said he will create “enormous inflatable art pieces.”

Many artists who have been to Fort Smith in the past for the Unexpected have embraced the city as a second home, Kolberg said, enjoying the small town atmosphere, not having to compete for work space and the friendliness of the people.

The Unexpected began in 2015 with the idea of reversing the exodus of cultural activity from downtown and making it…

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