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Artosphere set for June 16-27 in Northwest Arkansas


Australian performance art company The Fruits

The festival that has resulted in several public art installations, lots of free community events, pop-up concerts and more every summer for the last five years returns to Northwest Arkansas this week.

Of course, we’re talking about Artosphere, the annual festival celebrating art and nature organized by the Walton Arts Center.

As always, Artosphere features dozens of events spread all over the region, including the popular Trail Mix Series, featuring mini-concerts along the Frisco Trail in Fayetteville, a performance by Alonzo King LINES Ballet, a handful of performances by the Artosphere Festival orchestra, and others.

Two new art installations will make their debut in the coming weeks. The first, titled Remembered and Rendered: A Ceramic Garden, will debut June 11 on Tyson Plaza in front of the Arts Center. The installation was created by artist Katie Sleyman in collaboration with the Community Creative Center, and features thousands of handmade ceramic wildflowers created by volunteers and students who’d been on a guided nature walk along the Fayetteville Trail System.

“I Think I Can” by Australian company Terrapin Theatre

The second installation is called I Think I Can by Australian company Terrapin Theatre. The installation features a model railway and city layout in Joy Pratt Markham Gallery, and invites visitors to interact with the piece by becoming temporary residents through the form of tiny puppets.

Music-wise, the Artosphere Festival Orchestra will return for several performances, including “tiny concerts” at restaurants and bars across the region.

The popular Trail Mix series is set for Saturday June 20 along Frisco Trail in Fayetteville, with an encore performance set for Sunday, June 21 along the trails around Crystal Bridges. Performers include Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project, Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem, Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players, and a handful of Arostphere Festival Orchestra ensembles.

Also notable are two performances planned by Australian performing arts company The Fruits, who will perform two of their shows from atop 14′ poles. The first show, called “Spheres,” will be performed on June 19 on Tyson Plaza in Fayetteville at 9:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. The second show, called Swoon will be performed alongside the Trail Mix concerts in Bentonville at 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday June 21.

Many of the events associated with the festival are free, though a handful require tickets (visit waltonartscenter.org to purchase).

More details about this year’s individual events are here. Happy Artosphere-ing.

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Dustin Bartholomew is the co-founder of Fayetteville Flyer, an online publication covering all things news, art and life in Fayetteville, Arkansas since 2007. A graduate of the Department of English at the University of Arkansas and a lifelong resident of the area, he still lives in east Fayetteville with his son Hudson, daughter Evelyn, his wife Brandy, and his two dogs Lily and Steve. On occasion, he tickles the ivories in a local band called The Good Fear.

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