By Terrah Baker
Art has been used throughout history to start movements, beautify spaces and release creative human energy. The Free Weekly’s newspaper-stand art project began several months ago and was designed to do just that – to help jump start the public art movement in Fayetteville; to beautify the vessels in which the publication is delivered along with the space where it resides; and to give artists an outlet for their talent and exposure to the community at large. Without the artists who participated, none of this would have been possible. Using their extremely diverse techniques and styles that span generations and interests, they brought the stands to life for the entire community to enjoy.
Most of the stands can be found in the heart of Fayetteville on Dickson Street and around the Fayetteville Square, where now even more art is popping up – from storm drains to electric boxes. Most of these artists are volunteering their time or offering their work to beautify the neighborhood for little to no money. Together, this artwork makes up what will allow Fayetteville to stand out as a place that supports artists and the joy and beauty their art can create.
Here’s a glimpse at the artists that supported us.
Sasha and Tolic Rayevskiy are brothers from Eastern Arkansas who found their love of art at an early age, doodling, painting and with support from a mother who also loved art. They haven’t stopped since, and now are being commissioned by local businesses and individuals to create large murals on indoor walls that once stood blank. By using their art, business owners are livening up spaces that once offered little vibrance – from gym walls to shoes to a newspaper rack, the Rayevskiy’s tyle of graffiti, pop, free-style art is eye-catching, and resonates with all generations. They like to work free-hand and they like to work fast, finishing entire wall murals in one day’s work. Sasha now lives full-time in Fayetteville doing commissioned work and Tolic visits to help him complete larger projects and to take in the Fayetteville culture. To get more info on the Rayevskiy’s and their work, visit Sasha’s Instagram at http://goo.gl/eyq3DJ.
Matt Miller began his art career shortly after graduating college when he decided to go into business for himself in something that no one expected. He opened his own art studio in downtown Fayetteville in 2010 and since has made a name for himself in the art world with his signature style including circular, culturally relevant and nature themes with bright earth-toned and iridescent colors reminiscent of Native American and Eastern culture. Out of his studio he also runs a small skate board clothing and accessory business, now equipped with women’s casual-active wear. His art has been an evolution of his own making with no formal training besides as a child. His work can be seen around town and in small businesses and soon on the bike trail and more outdoor sites around Fayetteville. Last year, Miller started a campaign he called REfresh Fayetteville, meant to provide public art for parts of Fayetteville that currently have none. He raised money at a fundraiser and with it plans to paint themes representing the community and beyond, incorporated into a large mural. To find out more about Miller, REfresh Fayetteville and his work, www.mattmillerstudio.com.
Adam Campbell is a local artist who has made waves in the art community with his experimental and refined work that crosses genres, mediums and tastes. He’s an artist that regularly reinvents his style and takes great pride in the quality of his work. His themes include nature, people in the community, surrealism and tying these things together to make people stop, think and admire. He works part-time painting pottery and clay statues for a local artist, but also lives in Winslow on a small farm, growing food, reinventing his artwork daily and exploring his talent, while providing public art and collaboration. Campbell was the first artist to offer his work to The Free Weekly and also volunteers his time working on community organizing. Campbell’s work is now being made into prints that are available online from as little as $25 and above. The dynamics and variety of his work span genres, and he adds his passion for life and discovering life’s mysteries and small treasures into every piece he creates. To view his work, visit marksandnotes.blogspot.com.
Eli Mathis is the Fayetteville Underground’s youngest artist to date, and one of their top sellers. His work brings in a new generation of art lover and proves that age does not define the amount of dedication an artist can put into their work. By the time Eli was 17 and attending Fayetteville High School, the first year he was accepted to be an official Underground artist, Mathis was selling t-shirts that featured his artwork in hand-made prints. The shirts featuring his signature friendly creature creations sold out fast, and still do. His artwork that isn’t put on t-shirts is done in a variety of mediums, all of which are bold, fresh and full of youthful vigor, utilizing bright colors, hard outlines, stark contrasts, simple yet eye-catching designs and a variety of strange yet lovable creatures that resemble both fantasy and real life. His work can be viewed and purchased at the Underground during its normal business hours.
Ethan Fowler’s work can not only be seen on Free Weekly stands, but all around town in the form of posters, paintings, sculptures and more. His work is fresh, youthful, utilizing shapes, lines and figures in completely original ways that bring the work to life and add layers of dimension. He also incorporates comic-style artwork into his portfolio and has gathered a fan base in Fayetteville, holding several exhibits featuring his work around town in the last year. To find out more about his work, visit www.facebook.com/ethancfowler.
Kyler Watson is not only an Arkansas Army National Guardsman, but a talented artist whose work draws smiles and attention. His use of bright colors, pop-style cartoon figures, inspiring quotes and phrases, nature and child-like images makes his work stand out. He said he likes to make people happy with his art and offers it to the community because he wants to share his talent. His creations mostly consist of paint but he’s now attending school for digital design and takes on commissioned work in his spare time. To learn more about Watson and his work, visit instagram.com/kyler_watson.
Heather Younger is an interdisciplinary artist with a degree in contemporary art, and also the art teacher and creative director at the Fayetteville Montessori School. Together, she and her students painted a newsstand with impressions of their hands and words that describe what’s important to the Montessori mission – choice, creativity and a healthy sense of independence in thought. Younger runs a summer art camp for local children through the Montessori school and uses her broad knowledge of art to teach her students that art is about expression. Her own work reflects patterns of a goal-oriented mind, utilizing light, space and the pressure of time on the individual experience. You can learn more about Younger’s work at her website http://youngerwork.com/, and learn more about Fayetteville Montessori School at www.fayettevillemontessorischool.com.
Tina Oppenheimer is a local artist who owns and creates original work for her small business Ozark Cards. In her spare time she volunteers her work to the city she now calls home, and to community art projects that display her work and beautify and enliven the surrounding area. Her past work, and current commissioned work, also includes intricate and custom crochet patterns and blankets. To find out more about Tina, visit http://goo.gl/D2isbK.