Arts Rising

Fenix expands to include ‘not strictly visual’

Posted: April 21, 2017 at 1 a.m.

Courtesy Image "The Launch" by M.M. Kent is among artworks on show with Fenix Fayetteville this month at the Walker-Stone House.

In the 170 years since it was built by Judge David Walker, the Walker-Stone House in Fayetteville has no doubt seen "connections, clashes, harmonies, a bit of friction here, an unexpected kinship there." This time, however, those emotions are precipitated not by politics but by art.

The artists of Fenix Fayetteville, founded in October 2016, still have no permanent home, says spokeswoman Sabine Schmidt. Looking for a space for an exhibition, the organization approached the Fayetteville Advertising & Promotion Commission, which acquired the Walker-Stone House on Center Street last year.

FYI

Fenix Fayetteville

Event Calendar

Today — “There Ain’t No More: Death of a Folksinger,” performed by Willi Carlisle, 8 p.m. $10.

Saturday — Poetry & Jazz with Houston Hughes and the Jazz Misfits, 7:30 p.m. $5.

Thursday — Arkansas International showcase, 7 p.m. Free.

April 28 — Closing reception, 6:30 p.m. Free.

WHERE — Walker-Stone House, 207 W. Center St. in Fayetteville

INFO — Email Fenixfayettevilleart@gmail.com

"Everyone liked the idea of combining the art show with showcasing the historic building," Schmidt says. "We got a tour of the house and fell in love with this airy, beautifully built and maintained space."

With 10 rooms to showcase art, the members of Fenix invited other Arkansas artists -- creating the interaction Schmidt describes -- but they included not only those of the visual arts persuasion.

"We want Fenix to be an inclusive group of artists with different backgrounds, experiences and visions," Schmidt says. "Many of us have collaborated with other visual artists as well as artists working in other disciplines. Several have done live painting to live music. Some work in more than one discipline. So it seems like a natural/organic development to bring in writers, musicians, actors and other not-strictly-visual artists when we have the space and opportunity to do that. Right now, we have a great opportunity at the Walker-Stone.

"One of my favorite things about our community in terms of creativity is the chance to define and redefine yourself as an artist, to try out ideas, go in different directions, and find an audience that's curious and willing to give feedback," Schmidt goes on. "I'm glad that Fayetteville and Northwest Arkansas attract artists like Willi Carlisle, who uses his multiple talents in 'There Ain't No More.' Or that poet Houston Hughes and the Jazz Misfits, all of whom are renowned in their fields, share a stage. Or that the editors of The Arkansas International pay such careful attention to graphic and visual arts. As a photographer and a graduate of the Creative Writing and Translation program, that one makes me particularly happy."

This exhibition continues through April 29, but Schmidt says Fenix will continue to rise.

"We want to create a place where the many people and activities you see at the Walker-Stone this month will find a long-term home."

-- Becca Martin-Brown

bmartin@nwadg.com

NAN What's Up on 04/21/2017