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story.lead_photo.caption Courtesy Photo Craig Colorusso says his solar powered Sun Boxes produce a sound "that has been described as both soothing and energizing." The boxes will be installed on the walkway outside of the Fenix gallery as part of the art collective's "Our Universe" art festival.

Fenix Fayetteville -- the artists' collective located just off the Fayetteville square -- kicked off its two-month celebration of art and artists called "Our Universe" last night with an opening reception. The event, which runs throughout June and July, is in collaboration with the Walton Arts Center's Artosphere festival, and Fenix is sharing the theme of "space" with the WAC's event. Jeanne Parham, Fenix curator and leadership team member, describes a massive art celebration with rich and varied offerings.

"We have over 40 visual artists and five performance arts organizations that are a part of Fenix, so the idea is to get everybody involved in some way or another during these two months," says Parham. "Nearly all 40 artists will have work in the gallery, and we have two visiting artists who are exhibiting. For our performing arts partners, Open Mouth, ArkansasStaged and [musicians] Sonic Images: Chris Teal and Quintopus are performing."


‘Our Universe’

WHEN — Today is the first day of installation of Craig Colorusso’s Sun Boxes; other events through July

WHERE — Most events take place in or around Fenix Fayetteville, 16 W. Center St.

COST — Many events are free


One of the visiting artists is Craig Colorusso, whose sonic boxes -- musical instruments powered by the sun -- will be installed in the walkway between the Fenix space and Arvest Bank.

"The boxes are all tuned to B-flat, and the sound runs in a loop," Parham explains. "They make an incredible sound -- like whales singing."

Colorusso will also be offering a workshop on June 22 where participants can learn to make their own instruments -- one of several interactive activities scheduled during the celebration.

"The Art Experience is leading a workshop on making star lanterns, and, if you make one, you can participate in the Planet Parade [on July 4 from 7 to 9 p.m.]. We even have an art camp for kids 6 to 9 years old [from July 22-26]."

Other highlights include a repeat performance of "The Confederate Widow in Hell" on July 10 and 11, starring Willi Carlisle and produced by ArkansasStaged and Breaker/Fixer.

"The show has only been shown twice, and then went off to a French festival," notes Parham. "People were clamoring for more."

Parham says that the amalgamation of performing and visual arts is at the core of the Fenix ethos.

"This goes back to something we discovered when we were in residence at the Walker-Stone House two summers ago. What we found was that people are looking for an experience. I really find that all of our audiences really love this multi-sensory experience, what we call genre blending. You're sitting in a room filled with great visual art while your auditory system is being stimulated by spoken word or music or theater. It makes for a more robust experience."

NAN What's Up on 06/07/2019

Print Headline: 'A Robust Experience'

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