‘The Unexpected’ street art festival expands to Fayetteville in 2016

Puerto Rican artists Alexis Diaz, who painted the Elephant Octopus mural in London in 2013, is set to paint a mural in Fayetteville beginning Aug. 26 as part of “The Unexpected,” a street art festival that debuted last year in downtown Fort Smith.

Photo: Zarina Rimbaud-Kadirbaks, via WIDEWALLS

The Unexpected is set to return for another season, and will expand its footprint into Fayetteville, organizers announced on Monday.

The week-long street art festival debuted last fall in Fort Smith as part of a local initiative to create excitement for the redevelopment of the downtown area. It included the creation of 11 murals painted by international artists on various buildings, and while the event was considered to be a local success, the work of the seven world-renowned artists brought national and international attention to the city.

This year’s festival returns to Fort Smith Sept. 2-11, but will include an early addition to the lineup beginning Aug. 26 in Fayetteville with a mural painted by Puerto Rican artist Alexis Diaz.

A news release for the event didn’t specify where the Fayetteville mural would be located, but locals were quick to point out that the east wall of the old Mountain Inn building was recently primed with a fresh coat of white paint. Update: Diaz’ mural is indeed located on the east wall of the old Mountain Inn building at College Avenue and Center Street.

Other muralists announced for the 2016 festival include Okuda San Miguel, Guido Van Helten, Jaz, Pastel, Faith 47, Bordalo II, Cyrcle and returning artists D*Face and Maser.

The event will also include a variety of installations, performances, videos, and a mural designed and painted by the UAFS art department and students as well as a collaborative mural between Northside and Southside high schools.

We’ve reached out to representatives of the event and will update this story with any new information.

For more information, visit unexpectedfs.com.

New mural locations for The Unexpected 2016 (Fort Smith)

– Intersection of Rogers and Garrison avenues, painted by Okuda San Miguel
– 1100 Garrison Ave., painted by Cyrcle
– Goins Warehouse Alley, painted by Jaz/Pastel
– 708 Garrison Ave., painted by Bordalo II
– 505 Rogers Ave., painted by Faith 47
– Intersection of 4th and A streets, painted by NHS/SHS students
– Intersection of 2nd and A streets, painted by UAFS students
– West End Park, painted by D*Face
– Intersection of Wheeler Avenue and South C Street, painted by Guido Van Helten
– UAFS Windgate Building, painted by Maser


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