Sculptures and murals are common along the 36-mile Razorback Regional Greenway, a multi-use paved trail system connecting trails from northern Bella Vista to southern Fayetteville.
In December, Graham Edwards of Bella Vista hand-painted the mural in today's quiz. The mural doubles as a way-finding sign in a Greenway tunnel that takes cyclists and pedestrians below S.E. Eighth and S.E. J streets in Bentonville, near Walmart Global Business Services and the Walmart associate discount store.
Edwards' website, grahamedwardsart.com, describes the Oklahoma native as a self-taught painter whose youthful efforts appeared under highway overpasses and in the margins of high school notebooks. He returned to art in a serious way as an adult while between jobs, and his work was so well received he decided to be a full-time artist.
He uses acrylics and spray paint.
In recent years he has painted or been a partner in painting the Downtown Bentonville "boombox" truck, the Space Jam: Earth to Mars paintings on the basketball court at Olive Street Park in Rogers, the OZ Trails logo at Runway Bike Park in Springdale, the mural depicting aviation pioneer Louise Thaden in an alley between Tavola and Core Brewery near the Bentonville Square, and the large shuffleboard game on the floor at The Holler at 8th Street Market.
He has teamed with Steve and Mike Abb of Abb Custom Painting, Samuel Hale and others.
In April Edwards restored a historic sign of the former Benton County Hardware Co. on West Central Avenue in Bentonville.
The names of Bentonville and Benton County honor Thomas Hart "Old Bullion" Benton (1782-1858), a Missouri senator whose great nephew was the father of Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975), the 20th-century regionalist painter. Old Bullion was an ardent advocate of Manifest Destiny who pushed for the formation of the Arkansas Territory and for Arkansas statehood.
As for "Lovely County," that was a real thing. It included all or parts of seven present-day counties in Oklahoma as well as Benton, Washington and Crawford counties. Created and abolished by treaties related to conflicts over Indian lands, it lasted one year, from 1827 to 1828, according to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture.
Style on 03/04/2019
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