Tag Archives: street art

The Unexpected: Artists Descend on Ft. Smith to Revitalize the Streets with Murals 



Walking the wide streets of Ft. Smith, the second largest city in Arkansas near the Oklahoma border, one might expect to find small businesses, historical landmarks, the occasional live music venue, and few shuttered storefronts. What you might not expect to see are towering murals from international street artists around almost every corner, but that’s exactly what’s happening with The Unexpected, an ambitious local effort to bring significant public artworks to the streets of Ft. Smith in an effort to revitalize the downtown area.

Funded in part by local non-profit 646 Downtown and curated by JustKids, the event is now in its second year and has brought over 20 artworks that blanket old buildings, grain silos, store facades, and even a sculpture in a small park. The initiative has also engaged emerging artists from both the University of Arkansas and students from two local high schools who were invited to create their own murals around the city.

This year saw new pieces by Okuda, Faith47, Dface, Bordalo II, Jaz & Pastel, Alexis Diaz, Maser, Guido van Helten, and Cyrcle. The artworks went up over the first week of September with the aid of countless local volunteers and support staff. If you happen to stop by here’s a handy map, and there’s even an app where users can navigate to different artworks, submit their own photos and leave comments. You can see all of the completed works from both 2015 and 2016 on Instagram and Facebook. Photos by Raymesh.


Alexis Diaz


Alexis Diaz in progress


Jaz & Pastel




Fiath47 in progress


Guido van Helten





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New Lace Street Art Created with Ceramic, Textile, and Spray Paint by NeSpoon 


Polish artist NeSpoon (previously here and here) focuses on lace motifs that cover the walls, streets, and public parks found in urban environments. The lace works are either painted directly onto the surface or formed from clay, each handmade by herself or the traditional folk artists with whom she works.

“In lace there is an aesthetic code which is deeply embedded in every culture,” says NeSpoon. “In every lace we find symmetry, and some kind of order and harmony. Isn’t that what we all seek for instinctively?”

Recently NeSpoon has created work in Wroclaw, Auckland, Pont-l’Abbé, and Warsaw. You can see more of her public murals and installations on Behance.











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A Skeleton of Found Roots and Tree Limbs Heralds the Beginning of Fall in Italy 


In this 2012 installation, street artist Never2501 assembled a variety of found vegetation to form an eerie skeleton at the base of some steps in the idyllic gardens of the Museo Archeologico Paolo Giovio in Como, Italy. The piece was titled “In Cammino Per Trasformarsi Nell’istante Presente” (Moving to Transform into the Present) and could be interpreted as a harbinger of the seasons with the decaying root stumps and limbs pulled from a nearby forest, fit together without aid of any additional materials. Or maybe it’s just an incredibly disturbing thing to stumble onto when walking through the woods? You can see more photos of the temporary piece here, and follow Never2501’s more recent work on Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness, StreetArtNews)



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Elaborate Bronze Memorial Dedicated to Staten Island Ferry Octopus Attack Tricks Tourists 


Monuments and vaguely descriptive plaques are commonplace around cities and heavily trafficked tourist areas, giving just enough insight into an historic event or landmark. The Staten Island Ferry Disaster Memorial blends in with these weathered monuments, except for the fact that all details on the work are completely false. The monument, which is located in Battery Park, Manhattan, was created by artist Joe Reginella and honors the 400 victims who perished during a giant octopus attack of a Staten Island ferry named the Cornelius G. Kolff on November 22, 1963, the same day as the assassination of JFK.

The elaborate hoax was six months in the making, and is also seen by Reginella as a multimedia art project and social experiment. The website, and fliers distributed around Manhattan by his team, give a false location for a museum, ironically a place you must get to by ferry. You can see more tourist reactions and find real information about the fake event on the Staten Island Ferry Octopus Disaster Memorial Museum’s Facebook. (via Hi-Fructose)




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New Animalistic Trash Sculptures by Bordalo II Spring Up Around the Globe 


Instead of contemplating a series of sketches or attempting to envision how an artwork will come together, Portuguese artist Bordalo II (previously here and here) begins each of his animal sculptures in a grimy hunt for raw materials in junk yards or abandoned factories. Car bumpers, tires, door panels, mountains of malleable plastic bumpers, and even entire vehicles are stacked and bolted to the sides of buildings to resemble everything from pelicans to foxes and tiny rodents. The pieces grow on-site, taking form as he interprets the available materials. As a final detail each animal is finished with a flourish of spray paint that bestows a near lifelike quality.

Through his art, Bordalo II hopes to draw attention to our culture’s uncontrollable production of waste. “The idea is to depict nature itself, in this case animals, out of materials that are responsible for [their] destruction,” he shares with Colossal. In this way he hopes to make environmental destruction more visible. “Sometimes people don’t recognize that their simple routines are too much, we are using too many resources too fast and turning them into trash, waste, and pollution.”

Bordalo II was one of many artists recently involved with the Unexpected art project curated by JustKids in Ft. Smith, Arkansas where he created a new fox and opossum. He also constructed a flying squirrel at Street Art Jam 2016 in Estonia, and several pieces for the Aruba Art Fair. You can follow his recent work on Instagram.








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