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ARkanvas Mural Bike Tour: From the square

Bentonville, Arkansas , United States
December 14, 2020
2.3 mi




ft elev +


ARkanvas is a statewide engagement bringing public art by world-renowned artists to Arkansas communities around the state. The initiative is presented by Oz Art NWA and curated by Just Kids in partnership with The Unexpected.  Bentonville hosts 5 of those murals all within a safe bikeable distance. Join this ride to discover outdoor art in Bentonville.  The ride starts and ends at the square in Downtown Bentonville. 

The route starts on NE A through the Bentonville town square until you get to 21C Museum Hotel. Ride to the northside of the building where you'll see Stephen Powers hand-drawn and spray-painted mural. He lives and works in New York City where he makes and sells art at his store, ESPO’s Art World in Brooklyn’s Boerum Hill.  Stephen started painting walls when he was 16 under the approval of his older sisters. He had many conversations with local residents when developing the idea for the mural. Stephen took his inspiration from the biking community and the legacy of Louise Thaden. "The bike is a communal thread that stretches from New York to Bentonville to around the world. Riding bikes is a universal love." Stephen Powers

Swing around the hotel for the next mural painted by Youri Cansell aka Mantra. You can see the collection of months on the west side of the hotel. Climb the stairs of the parking garage for a better view of the mural. Growing up, Youri Cansell, or Mantra, wanted to be a naturalist. Now, he makes larger-than-life murals of his favorite objects of study – butterflies.  “As a child, I was lucky to spend a lot of time in my family’s garden. I’m sensitive to all the small living things I found there, like birds, insects, and spiders. Butterflies feed my curiosity and they built my childhood dreams.” Youri Cansell aka Mantra

The next mural is located along the Razorback Greenway across from the Momentary. The Momentary is a great place to stop and get a refreshment at Onyx coffee lab or Rode Bar or check out the latest exhibit.  Entry to the museum is free and there is plenty of bike parking outside of Onyx or Rode Bar. 

Nina Chanel Abney is a contemporary American artist whose work explores abstraction and popular culture with a focus on narratives that allow wide interpretation. Combining representation and abstraction, Nina Chanel Abney’s paintings capture the frenetic pace of contemporary culture. Her use of shapes and symbols has translated into a unique visual language that is immediately recognizable. Working in acrylics and spray paint, Abney’s ability to translate her fine art practice to large-scale murals is seamless and authentic. She uses her intuition when designing murals. She doesn't know the endpoint until she starts the process of designing a mural. She used bright colors in her design in Bentonville to draw in the viewer who uses the greenway trail.  "I started to transition my work into more public spaces because I was looking for a way to make my work more accessible."  Nina Chanel Abney

The holographic wall on the outside of the Skylight Cinema is by Anne Vieux, a multimedia artist based in Brooklyn. Vieux works in the great tradition of artists who use tools wrong. Innovation through misuse is a key part of how artists are responding to technology, and here the artist starts by confounding the CCD array of a scanner by training it on holographic paper. The light source of the scanner explodes the spectrum of the paper and the lens records an otherworldly topography of insane colors and shapes. "Thinking about this particular building in Bentonville, I was reminded of driving through the country and the vast horizons that fascinated me growing up in Oklahoma" Anne Vieux

If you ever wanted a selfie with a monster, now is the time. Kevin Lyons makes monsters look warm and fuzzy. He painted 9 total across three pedestrian alleyways in Downtown Bentonville. See if you can find all 9.  Hint: You'll have to cross a street. Lyon is a creative director, designer, illustrator, and typographer who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. In his previous life, Lyons has been a Creative at Nike, Design Director at Stussy, Art Director at Girl Skateboards, and Creative Director for Tokion Magazine.

The ride ends at the square where you can enjoy sit and enjoy the energy of the local community or support local business owners by shopping or dining in one of the amazing restaurants along the square.




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