HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, Arkansas — A mural at the Northwoods Trail System that is one of 12 being created statewide under the ARKanvas Initiative of OZ Art™ will be formally unveiled at noon, Friday, November 13.
ARkanvas is a partnership of OZ Art™, The Unexpected and JustKids.
The mural’s unveiling will be incorporated into the Second Annual Güdrun Mountain Bike Festival at the Northwoods trails.
“It will be really great for this impressive addition to the Northwoods experience to be part of the Güdrun Festival, which will bring biking and outdoors enthusiasts from across the country to Hot Springs,” said Traci Berry, trails coordinator for Visit Hot Springs. “About 500 riders — some from as far away as Canada — took part in the initial Güdrun Festival in 2019.”
Güdrun will begin November 13 and run through November 15. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, preregistration for this year’s Güdrun Festival is required. Registration will be online-only until November 12. To register now, visit the brand new Northwoods website: http://www.northwoodstrails.org
Competitive events will take place on the Northwoods Trails starting at the Cedar Glades Trailhead, and there will be noncompetitive events in the downtown area, including a “creepy” nighttime Slow Roll Ride through the downtown area on Friday The Thirteenth.
The ARKanvas Initiative will create public artworks in Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale, Fort Smith (Chaffee Crossing), Conway, Little Rock, Hot Springs, Pine Bluff and Stuttgart.
Internationally known artist Camille Walala designed the Northwoods mural, which is being painted onto the Northwoods pumphouse by a team of artists following her design.
However, Walala could not be present for the actual installation of the mural because of travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. OZArtNWA™ sent a crew of professional artists to do the actual painting. The artists are in constant communication with Walala via FaceTime and other means as they apply the paint.
Walala is a multidisciplinary artist working across the fields of art, architecture, textile art, and graphic design, and is a perpetual purveyor of positivity, expressed through vibrant color and bold patterns.
The installation was chosen to bring color to the Northwoods pumphouse and help bring inspiration to the artists and individuals in and around Hot Springs for years to come, Berry said.
Monty Ledbetter, utilities director for the City of Hot Springs, said, “We are excited to make our pumphouse facility available for this mural. The art piece will be a landmark for the hundreds of hikers, bikers and others who use the Northwoods trails.”
Mary Zunick, cultural affairs manager for Visit Hot Springs and one of the driving forces behind the just-concluded Arts & The Park Festival, said, “Having been involved with the planning of several murals in Hot Springs over the past few years, it is great to be a part of the ARkanvas project that will add this incredible mural by Camille Walala.”
Walala’s practice has taken her all over the world to transform homes and workspaces with her signature tribal-pop style. Drawing on influences including the Memphis Movement, the Ndebele tribe, and op-art master Victor Vasarely,
Walala has an irrepressible enthusiasm for playful, graphic patterns that invoke a smile in all who view them. The theme of the ARkanvas Initiative is Unite, a tribute to being united through shared outdoor and art experiences across the Natural State. A virtual experience will be launched at www.Arkanvas.com and @OZArtNWA on Instagram and will feature videos of the art, artists, and communities.
“We wanted to do something to celebrate the arts, support artists, and create some excitement in our communities during this incredibly challenging time,” said Olivia Walton, who is leading the project along with Elizabeth Miller, OZ Art™ manager. “We love that murals bring art to everyone, and we hope that these projects will inspire, spark conversation, and promote civic unity.”
For more information contact Mary Zunick, 501-231-2027.