Public Art, private projects, awards featured at downtown Conway event

Local News

CONWAY, Ark. – The site of a former concrete business in downtown Conway will soon transform into a work of art as part of a new, statewide initiative called ARkanvas.  

Through ARkanvas, OZ ArtTM in partnership with the Unexpected and global curator firm Justkids – will install 12 pieces of public art by world-renowned artists across Arkansas. In addition to Conway, the selected communities include Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale, Fort Smith (Chaffee Crossing), Little Rock, Hot Springs, Pine Bluff and Stuttgart.  

The Conway location was announced at the Conway Downtown Partnership’s annual meeting on Oct. 14, which took place outside the former Conway Black Plant Silo, located at the northwest corner of College Avenue and Front Street. “Public art has the ability to be iconic and impact a city’s economy,” said Runway Group vice president Mike Malone. “With a focus on art and culture, people look to experience the creative side of a community like they do here in Conway.” 

Painter and muralist Alexis Diaz has been commissioned to install the mural on the large barrel façade of the preexisting infrastructure of the Block Plant. Diaz is known for his chemical and dreamlike depictions of animals in a state of metamorphosis.  

The announcement took place at the annual meeting of the Conway Downtown Partnership. According to the Partnership, ten new businesses have opened in downtown Conway since March. A multi-family renewal project and new bank location were also announced. “When the private sector invests in downtown the entire community benefits,” said Conway Area Chamber President Brad Lacy.  “And when organizations like OZ Art invest in your downtown people around the country take notice.” 

PattiCakes Bakery owner Patti Stobaugh was given the Partnership “Award of Distinction” and the Kordsmeier Furniture Building earned the “Achievement in Design” designation. 

Runway GroupLLC is a Bentonville-based organization focused on engaging civic and corporate leaders to develop public-private, quality-of-life initiatives throughout Arkansas 

OZ Art brings together a network of art, artists, events, and experiences throughout Bentonville and Northwest Arkansas. Founded in 2017 in the hometown of Crystal Bridges Museum and the Momentary, OZ Art supports the regional arts scene with its own collection displayed throughout Bentonville and by collaborating with regional arts organizations. 

Conway Downtown Partnership supports goals and planning that bring downtown Conway together as a gathering place to live, work, play, shop, and eat. The Partnership strives to serve as a full-time advocate for these issues and is dedicated to stimulating and fully leveraging public and private investment within downtown Conway.    

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