Street Art Unifies Town

project allows for rival schools to collaborate


Allison Brannan, Print Co-Editor

Unexpected project’s 2018 season, entitled the “Outlier Series,” adds to the revamping of the town and brings eight new art pieces to the downtown scene.

The fourth year of the project creates additional dimension to the projects previously completed. Cross town schools received the opportunity to collaborate for the second time in the Unexpected Project.

“I think collabing with the art project makes [the two schools] realize we’re not that much different from each other and sublimating that rivalry into something creative is really good for both schools,” Northside senior art student Emily Austin said.

Originated and curated by global creative house Justkids in 2015, the Unexpected project first came to Fort Smith in an attempt to revitalize the town with art.

“We are very excited that [the Unexpected [project] allows us to participate considering that it is a festival involving international artist and we are just a high school art department. We have been involved every year and I hope that they keep inviting us back to participate,” Art teacher David king said.

The 2018 Unexpected Projects brought back artists Alexis Diaz and Ana Maria. Both artists previously worked for the project and return, adding to the revamped downtown.

“Southside was approached four years ago during the first year of unexpected about doing a skateboard painting project. We were given skateboard decks from Boarder Town skate shop and we actually painted designs on the bottom of them,” King said.

Southside art students paint a mural on a downtown thrift store building on North 3rd Street that span the entirety of the wall.

“I thought that working on the project was the coolest thing ever. It’s not everyday that you get to paint on a wall for the public to see and not get in trouble for it,” Gammill said.

The art painted by the students depicts insects with vibrant shades of yellow, green, orange, and blue on Designer Again consignment store.

“It makes me feel really good that my students have artwork displayed around town, I think it is a really good experience for the students to get to see how artists lay out their murals and we have learned just as much as the students from this process,” King said.

This year’s unexpected project marks the fourth art piece that students helped to create in the last three year, including the recently covered color wheel mural project.

During the summer, students painted a mural on the outside eating space at Joe’s Grill and Cantina and also helping in the Drains to the River sewer project.

“We noticed that UAFS got to paint a mural wall for the first year and so we asked if we could have a wall for the next year. So the next year we did the color wheel mural and after that one, we earned our right to be there,” King said.