The fifth edition of The Unexpected will return to Fort Smith, AR October 7-12, 2019, bringing engaging urban and contemporary art, music, speakers and satellite programming for the downtown area. Activities and artworks will take place in the downtown footprint creating an easily walk-able experience and will include hands-on activities for both adults and children.
This year’s artistic lineup, curated by global creative house Justkids, includes legendary Spanish artist and muralist Okuda San Miguel returning for his second installment of The Unexpected. Okuda joined The Unexpected in 2016 completing the iconic “Universal Chapel” wrap around mural at the Rogers and Garrison Avenue intersection, now Gateway Park. Okuda will complete a 360-degree installation takeover of a home at 1319 G Street in his distinctive style of colorful geometric patterns that portray animals, regional iconography and human figures.
Three blocks southwest of Okuda, London based artist Camille Walala joins The Unexpected for the first time with an entire service station takeover. The station will be completed in her trademark tribal pop style, bringing bold and playful graphic patterns and colors to the intersection at Grand Avenue and 11th street, transforming a typical location into an exciting visual site.
On the west side of downtown, the emerging Bakery District will play host to Hilda Palafox. The Mexico City based artist, also known as Poni, will complete a two-part mural on the Bakery Silos, bringing a gentle femininity in her compositional balance of forms and colors. Poni’s work brings subtle suggestions of expressions and emotions held together by light bodies and romantic surroundings.
Adding to the eclectic scope of the lineup is Scottish born, London based poet, artist and sculptor Robert Montgomery, known for his site-specific installations created from light and text, who will bring an original light poem to Towson Avenue, adding to an already impressive gallery of mural art added in 2018.
In addition to the public art projects, The Unexpected brings French visual and performance artist Alexandre Bavard, delivering an adaptation of his performative piece BULKY, never before see in the U.S. The performance piece, choreographed by Alexandre Bavard, features his original music, reinterprets the tag gestures through a dance system, interrogating the limitations of street art exposed in galleries and institutional spaces. The performance project is also an exchange and collaboration with local dancers and dance studios.
Finally, Fort Smith composer Amos Cochran presents Memory Dissolve an immersive experience playing on the effects memories have on us and the idea that we can rid ourselves of bad ones, even momentarily, through art. Bastion Gallery will be transformed into a space filled with music, light, repetitive rhythmic patterns, taking the audience through a series of emotions and ideas culminating in a the dissolution of music notes.
Additional activities, curated by The Unexpected, include:
·October 5: Kick off Block Party in partnership with Future School of Fort Smith, including a free family friendly concert by National Park Radio
·October 5-6: Fort Smith high schools Northside and Southside complete a joint exhibition at Bastion Gallery
·October 10: Concert in Garrison Commons by hometown favorite Escape Tones
·October 10-12: Fort Smith composer and musician Amos Cochran brings music and light to Bastion Gallery
·October 10: Company Club hosts their monthly Breakfast Club with keynote speaker, Pia Agrawal, Curator of Performing Arts at The Momentary
·October 11-12: Bands at participating venues along Garrison Avenue, including a show with House of Songs artist Tom Echols
·October 12: Keynote by Alexandre Bavard
·October 12: Keynote by Jia Jiang, leader of 100 Days of Rejection
·October 12: Event favorites Art Feeds and Wheel Mobile return for another day of kid and adult friendly activities
The Unexpected will open its quintessential headquarters shop at the Propak Headquarters first floor at 1100 Garrison Avenue, featuring maps, Unexpected merchandise and Justkids goods.
The Unexpected wants to thank it’s wonderful sponsors without whom this event would not be possible (current as of September 10, 2019): ArcBest, Arvest, BHC Insurance, Belle Starr Antiques, Breeden Dodge, CanvasHQ, Carrington Creek, CyberSpyder, Courtyard by Marriott, Dream Alliance, First National Bank, Fort Smith CVB, Fort Smith Coffee Company, General Pallets, Ghan-Cooper Properties, Hampton Inn, Hanna Oil and Gas, Maxey Signs, Mid-South Painting, OK Foods, Propak Inc, Pruitt Families, Rheem, Slim Chickens, Studio 6, UAFS .