The Unexpected brings attention to downtown area

Gia Berklund

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    Small boutiques, colorful art, and atmospheric restaurants litter Garrison Avenue. Located next to the river, the area provides an assortment of activities for locals and showcases its most recent crown jewel—the Unexpected mural project.

    In 2015, a non-profit organization called 64.6 entered Fort Smith and initiated a remodel the downtown area. Following 64.6 efforts, several new projects helped to bring life back to the shopping area, including the Unexpected.

     After three years, the project continues to build on downtown’s new charisma and character. The Unexpected took on the help of local and international artists as well as the two local high schools.

     Students worked over the summer, July 23-30, to create a set of panels for the U.S. Marshals Museum, which estimates to open in September 2019.

     “While we were working on the panels, the Peacemaker festival was going on right next to us. Our art is going into a national museum and I think that’s really cool. It’s definitely something to put in a future portfolio,” senior Hannah Bender said .

    But the Unexpected isn’t the only art piece downtown has to offer. Located off Rogers Avenue, the Regional Art Museum continues to be an underestimated attraction. Rebranded and opened in January 2013, the museum showcases both permanent and rotating attractions.

    “One of the most popular exhibits at RAM remains The Secrets of Mona Lisa,which was on exhibit during the museum’s reopening Gala in January of 2013. Next would be Winslow Homer and he American Pictorial Press exhibit. Another attraction that we are really becoming know for regionally, is our RAM Saturday program,”gallery manager Casey Seamans said. 

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The online edition of the Southworld
The Unexpected brings attention to downtown area