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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/STACY RYBURN Jeanne Parham (left), Eugene Sargent and Octavio Logo with the artist collective Fenix Fayetteville on Monday show a model of a mural proposed in the alley between the Fenix building and Arvest Bank on the downtown square. The Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission approved putting $10,000 toward the project.

FAYETTEVILLE -- The arts will soon have a protector in the downtown square.

The Advertising and Promotion Commission on Monday approved putting $10,000 toward a three-dimensional mural from artists Octavio Logo and Eugene Sargent. The mural will be an anamorphic image in the alley between Fenix Fayetteville and Arvest Bank on the square.

Anamorphosis refers to a distorted image that appears normal when viewed from a particular angle. The artists intend for a depiction of the Greek goddess Athena to be seen from near the entrance of the Old Post Office. The mural also will appear to pop out to drivers heading west along Center Street.

"It's the idea of the power of art, this mural," Sargent said.

The artists' statement says Athena is a defender and promoter of the arts who represents wisdom and civility. The Athena on the wall will wield a paintbrush and color palette in place of a sword and shield. The paintbrush will extend from the building like a pole, adding to the three-dimensional effect.

Logo and Sargent have works in the region. Logo's mural of Malcolm X, Maya Angelou and two Native Americans representing the Navajo and Sioux tribes sits on a building at Seventh Street and Washington Avenue in the Walker Park neighborhood. Sargent recently completed the 30-foot Hogeye statue on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard north of Ozark Mountain Smokehouse.

The commission will provide half the cost of the mural, with the building's owner, Hayden McIlroy, providing the other $10,000. Logo and Sargent told the commission they want to start as soon as possible, with a six- to eight-week time frame to complete the work.

Molly Rawn, the commission's executive director, said the project will highlight and celebrate the city as an artistic place. The commission made a commitment in 2015 to make public art a priority, she said.

"The case has been made time and time again for public art and how that can tie into tourism and destination development," Rawn said. "We feel this is spot-on in line with our mission."

The project also will serve as the pinnacle of Fenix Fayetteville's Our Universe summer festival happening this month and next. Our Universe is a response to the space theme of this year's Artosphere festival from the Walton Arts Center.

Jeanne Parham with Fenix Fayetteville said the collective spent three months remodeling the interior of the gallery since moving in a year ago. The hope is to activate the walkway outside and attract people already out on the square, she said.

"This mural has the potential to transform that space into a place on the square where people are going to gather, talk about art and just have a good time," Parham said.

NW News on 06/18/2019

Print Headline: Mural to create optical illusion downtown


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