If you’ve spent any amount of time in Fayetteville, AR you know it’s home to some of the best food, shops, music, and sights. The Razorbacks, the Walton Arts Center, Dickson Street, and George’s Majestic Lounge are familiar across Arkansas, bringing back memories of fun games, great shows, delicious food and drinks, and, arguably, the greatest music scene in NWA…but that’s not all…Fayetteville also packs a punch when it comes to stellar art, ESPECIALLY street art. In fact, street art is SO popular in this college town that they’ve created a street art wall crawl called “Sprayetteville”.
Sprayetteville is a Fayetteville Community Art Event created by community members, painted by community members, enjoyed by community members, and MOST importantly SUPPORTED by community members! The first annual Sprayetteville Street Art Project, a collaboration between Shaman Art and the business community of Fayetteville, took place the week of July 6th – 12th, 2020, at various locations in and around the downtown area of Fayetteville, Arkansas. The creation of the murals started on 6th and commenced with a celebration on 12th. This project is intended to reflect a vision of planet stewardship through art, wellness, plant medicine, and social awareness. They even gave away prizes if you visited all 8 of the murals!
#1: Freek Geek Arkansas
First stop was to Freek Geek Arkansas, a nonprofit organization that aims to provide access to computers, the internet, education, and job skills for those who would not otherwise have access to them. They also have a thrift store packed with upcycled items from computers and monitors to cassette decks, speakers, and various electronics.
EATS (@greasepenlen) “EATS is a full-time spraycan artist from Little Rock. He’s had the can in hand since he was 8 years old and has done 1000’s of pieces and murals during his career.”
X3MEX (@x3mex) “What x3mex aims to achieve is to visually communicate our presence, a reaction to our situation, our history; to educate and influence those who are not aware, and hopefully gain a better understanding of our society, and of ourselves.”
#2: Starlight Skatium
Mural number 2 took us to the Starlight Skatium, a super rad skate rink in the heart of Fayetteville. They’re closed right now due to Covid, but keep an eye on their Facebook for an announcement about their Grand Re-Opening date!
Tommy Tropical (@tommy.tropical) “Tommy describes his style as “psy-fi,” influenced by science fiction, psychedelic art, comics, video games and surrealism. Using spray paint, markers, and acrylic paint, his brightly-colored designs feature imaginary landscapes, elaborate lettering, and comic relief.”
#3: Dickson St. Bookshop
Dickson St. Bookshop is a staple in Fayetteville, selling general and out-of-print books since 1978. The owners, Donald Choffel and Charles O’Donnell, have become beloved fixtures of the community. With its twisting and winding shelves, the pleasant aroma of old books, and the authentically antique aesthetic…Dickson St. Bookshop is a dream come true for book lovers, they’re even featured on Buzzfeed’s list of 17 BOOKSTORES THAT WILL LITERALLY CHANGE YOUR LIFE! Just look at this dope map of their store! Iconic.
Jessica Jones (@jessicasjonesin) “A Florida native, Jessica Jones moved to Conway 5 years ago and has been putting her stamp on the community ever since. She has been commissioned by local businesses to help bring creative flair to their establishment and make tangible their abstractions.”
Jason Jones (@artistjasonjones) “Jason Jones has been a working muralist for over 20 years. His whimsical art can be seen in many public and private spaces throughout the Ozark region.”
NUMBER 4! Grubs has been slapping out great drinks and award winning ½ lb. burgers for over ten years in the Fayetteville entertainment district. They pride themselves on having some of the BEST grub in the state, and have attracted University of Arkansas students and Fayetteville locals since they opened their doors in 2001!
Octavio Logo (@octavio_logo) “As an international artist living in Fayetteville, Arkansas for the last 4 years, Logo´s work spans multiple solo and collective exhibitions, murals, public paintings and collaborations. He is the recipient of the Artist 3 60 grant for 2019 with a multimedia project called EXODUS and is cofounder of the Fenix Gallery in downtown Fayetteville.”
#5: Gearhead Outfitters
Hiking in to stop number five…Gearhead Outfitters, a dope shop that is RIDICULOUSLY passionate about all things outdoors. It’s creator, Ted Herget, was inspired to start an outdoor gear company after spending some time in Colorado where he fell in love with the mountain lifestyle. In 1997, Gearhead Outfitters was born in an Arkansas living room…talk about going out on a limb! Thankfully, Gearhead became a HUGE success and has spread all over NWA and event to a few other states.
Compost Pile (@compost_pile) “Laman’s large scale mural work features a meticulous, visual collage of portraits and creatures mixed with his unique personal style, all executed with freehand spray paint on a colossal scale.”
Need some incredible design work?? How about some stylish apparel?? Well this is THE PLACE. For the last 25 years B_Unlimited has been churning out custom designs and apparel to the Fayetteville masses. Literally a “started from the bottom now we’re here” story…B_Unlimited has humble beginnings as a screen-printer for greeks & university groups and has grown to include nationwide organizations and festivals.
Fun Fact, B_Unlimited also doubled as a rehearsal space for New Threshold Theatre’s production of Into The Woods in 2014. What CAN’T they do?!
TigerSasha (@tigersasha) “Sasha “Tigersasha” Rayevskiy is a Russian-American artist, muralist and printmaker based out of Northwest Arkansas. Rayevskiy’s work focuses on “brightening up” public walls and spaces through the use of big bold colors, signature “bubbles” along with Russian inspired characters.”
Marcus Ford (@nappy_goku) “Marcus specializes in digital editing, pen and ink, alcohol based markers, and colored pencils. His artwork is spreading across NWA through commissions and shoe refurbishment/customs.”
#7: 26 West Center St.
I’ll be honest, this mural was a biiiiit of a struggle to find, we roamed the Historic Fayetteville Square looking for…well we weren’t quite sure what we were looking for. Just as we were about to give up the hunt a reflection in a window caught my eye, and when I say we found it MAN did we find it. Hidden down a little alley was a mural so ginormous and eye-catching I’m honestly ashamed we had to search for so long ?
I’ll blame it on the fact that we were starving by this point…
Before our last stop we wanted…nay…NEEDED some sustenance. Luckily we were pretty close to one of my most favorite food joints in Faytown, Con Quesos *insert Angelic voices here*.
Con Quesos isn’t just food…it’s a culinary EXPERIENCE! Their fusion tacos are to die for and the mixed drinks aren’t too shabby either. Whether you’re in the mood for Mexican, Greek, Indian, Japanese, you name it..,they’ve got a taco for you! And don’t EVEN get me started on their quesos… okay, maybe you can get me started. We started off our meal with their Four Seasons, a trio of some of the most unique and delicious quesos I’ve ever had PLUS salsa or guac.
Taco Time! (and quesadilla time) We literally INHALED the tacos before I realized I hadn’t snapped a pic…oops. We ordered the Game Day Taco (filled with chopped brisket, cheese, avocado, pickled red onion, grilled jalapenos, and tasty salsa verde) and the Bombay (an Indian inspired taco overflowing with chicken tikka masala, basmati rice, greens onions, and raita crema). ?? And because my boyfriend and I are MAJOR foodies, we also ordered the grilled chicken and refried bean quesadilla. #noregrets
Food hack! Dip your quesadilla in their Cozumel queso, a white cheese dip with zesty lime and tangy salsa verde. BIND BLOWN ?
At this point we were dangerously close to post lunch nap time so we jotted on over to our last mural of the day…
#retrovibes is understatement when it come to Washarama. As soon as you pull into the parking lot of this self service laundromat you’re transported back in time and with its rows and rows of washers and dryers your Friends “The One with the East German Laundry Detergent” dreams can become reality!
Samuel Hale (@samuelhaleart) “A local artist born and raised in the northwest Arkansas hills, Samuel’s murals focus on portraits and figures of America folklore and history that attempt to capture raw emotion with dramatic perspective.”
This mural is actually based on real life muse, Felicity Smith!
Street Art is a beautiful and creative way to make the world around you a little bit brighter and Fayetteville has hit it out of the park! These Sprayetteville murals don’t even begin to scratch the surface of all the amazing art and artists in the Fayetteville area. My friends and I had the BEST time hunting for these creations and we’ll definitely be going back to find more!
Check out Sprayetteville’s website, https://sprayettevillestreetart.com/, to read even more about the artists involved and all the different ways you can support next year’s festival!