There’s something that Fayetteville wants, needs, but has had trouble fostering in the past. It’s something that supporters say will brighten the landscapes, express the community spirit and beautify currently run-down locations. Something that can employ creative people, build camaraderie and usher visitors to the heart of Fayetteville. Only one thing fits this description that Fayetteville already thrives in — art.
Because Fayetteville is already full of talented artists, Matt Miller, owner of Matt Miller Studios in downtown Fayetteville, said its only a matter of bringing them opportunities, while at the same time offering an opportunity to help beautify business and city property.
REfresh Fayetteville is the project that Miller along with Modus Studio owners hopes will make it happen. The messages he’s hearing from other Fayetteville citizens indicate they’re ready.
“I’m out there and talking to people and they want this. I’m getting really positive feedback, like ‘yeah, we do need more public art,’ ‘we need that expression,’ and ‘that building does need painted or something needs to happen there,’” he explained.
But it’s not as easy as coming up with great ideas for a mural — which Miller and his supporters have. They want to be able to pay for the materials and provide artists a salary for the work they perform for the community. He plans to bring attention to the possibilities of what this could mean for a city with an initial project on the south side of Fayetteville.
“It will be like you’re actually entering a different section of the city at that point. And when you enter that section, and then on the square you know you’re in a different spot,” Miller said of his first project.
Part of the initial stages of the REfresh project will be collecting funds, which they will jump-start with a fundraising party on Nov. 3 at Greenhouse Grille in Fayetteville. There, they will pose a question to community members that will lead to the composition of the first project.
The mural he hopes to create will be about 60-feet long and feature prominently Ghandi in a prayer pose representing peaceful change, with a large circle representing the cycle of life in general. At the fundraiser, community members will be asked a question like “How would you be a better conductor of being the change you wish to see in the world?” Artists including Miller would then incorporate images representing those answers into the mural.
“It’s going to help build good energy, and people are going to be talking about it. Artists are going to be talking about it, and then artists can bring their ideas to the table,” Miller said.
The application process for artists to pitch their mural ideas will be somewhat informal, with just a proposal of their idea to Miller and others who control the funds earned. When they find a project they want to support, they hope to facilitate conversation between the artist and the owner of the location the artist wants to paint, along with using the funds to provide them supplies and compensation.
Refresh will also be a Kickstarter project. The REfresh fundraising event will start at 5 p.m. with local food provided by Little Bread Company, Greenhouse Grille, Arsaga’s, Ella’s, Flying Burrito, Aquafire and Jammin’ Java. Live music will be provided by Fork and Knife, Candy Lee, Cutty Rye, and the Block Street Hot Club. There is a suggested $10 donation at the door with a silent auction. To learn more about the event, and to RSVP, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/events/236182913201511/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming or search REfresh Fayetteville.