Wooden wallride on Rolling Thunder trail at Gregory Park / Photo: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer
Local artist Jason Jones will begin work on more public art in Fayetteville this summer.
The Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission last month voted to spend $2,500 on a new mural at Gregory Park in midtown Fayetteville.
The money went to Ozark Off Road Cyclists, who commissioned Jones to produce the mural on a 20-foot by 10-foot wooden wallride along Rolling Thunder, a downhill-only, beginner-level flow trail near the northeast portion of the park (see map below).
The project was first approved by the Fayetteville Arts Council in May, and then given the green light from the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board earlier this month.
Jones’ plan is to paint a skink (a type of lizard) on the surface of the wallride using stain dyes to ensure the artwork stays intact when mountain bikers ride across the wooden surface on their way down the hillside trail.
Brannon Pack, executive director of Ozark Off Road Cyclists, said the lizard mural could serve as a fun feature for the beginner-level trail that tends to attract younger riders, some who often seek out Instagram opportunities.
“This is one of those unique opportunities we look for when we’re taking pictures,” said Pack. “But at the same time we know that this will resonate with riders, and that people will be excited to come out and find this feature here in Fayetteville.”
Once the mural is complete, the city will be the owner of the artwork. The A&P Commission also agreed to repair the mural if it is ever damaged.
The money comes from a re-appropriation of $15,000 in A&P funds that was initially awarded to Bike NWA for production of this year’s Oz Cross cyclocross race at Centennial Park on Millsap Mountain. Since Bike NWA is no longer producing that event, the commission agreed to split those funds into three other projects: $2,500 for the mural at Gregory Park; $10,000 for a 3D mural to be painted by Eugene Sargent and Octavio Logo in the alley between the Fenix Gallery and the Arvest Bank building on the square; and $2,500 to purchase a Hank Kaminsky sculpture that currently resides outside the Fayetteville Visitors Center, but will be relocated inside the center once renovations to that building are complete.
About Gregory Park
The transformation of midtown’s Gregory Park was completed in late summer 2018 when crews finished construction of a series of singletrack mountain biking trails, along with a pump track and skills course at the 19-acre park on Sycamore Street just west of North College Avenue.
The land was donated to the city by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in 1964. It includes a pavilion and a picnic area. Before the new construction, it included a 0.6-mile nature trail that had been damaged in several places from erosion.
The pump track and skills course are both located in the north part of the park along Sycamore Street.
The trails include Morning Light, a multi-use loop that circles the outer edges of the park and is used to access the two new one-way trails that start at the top of the hill; Rolling Thunder, a downhill-only, beginner-level flow trail; and Tailwind, a downhill-only, intermediate-level flow trail.
Morning Light – multi-use access loop
Rolling Thunder – beginner flow trail
Tailwind – intermediate flow trail