story and photos by Stephen Carter, special to The City Wire
The Walton Arts Center celebrated its fifth annual Artosphere Festival on Friday (May 16) at Fayetteville’s Tyson Plaza. The event featured the 2014 Artosphere artists, free live music, specialty food, beverages and a dance performance.
“To me it’s about access,” said Peter Lane, president and CEO of the Walton Arts Center. “The best thing about Artosphere is that it’s such a unique theme—art, nature, and sustainability—and one of the only festivals in the country of its kind. It’s about connecting the community,” said Beth Bobbitt, Public Relations Director at the Walton Arts Center.
Cletus Got Shot, a Fayetteville based Americana trio, opened the evening’s events. The band features Adam Cox on guitar, Nathan Miller on mandolin, and Mark Landry on upright bass.
“We’re happy to play here for Artosphere. It’s exciting to make people smile and dance a little,” said Cox.
“We’re having a blast,” said Katie Terrell, a Fayetteville native and guest at the event. “Cletus Got Shot is one my favorite local bands of all time,” she added.
“This is our first Artosphere event. I invited lots of people. It’s great, and it’s free,” said Carol Brantley, an event guest.
2014 Artosphere artists mingled and answered questions at the celebration. This included Dublin-based street artist Maser, and recipients of Walton Arts Center’s Artosphere Partner Grants recipients, Ben Flowers, Luke Knox and Harry Scott for their ecological sculptures, Envirofountains, as well as Jill McKeever for an olfactory and audio installation, Synesthesia.
Under the Stars, a new urban art installation by Maser, is located on the lawn of Nadine Baum Studios along the Frisco Trail in Fayetteville.
“Maser wants to convey positive messages but also create a little bit of a disturbance. You wouldn’t expect to find this crazy, bright colored structure on the trail, but when you do, you’re going to stop, take pause, and explore,” noted Bobbitt.
“Performers can use it as a performing space, but also the general public can use it, interact with it and enjoy,” Maser said.
The Artosphere celebration, now in its fifth year, has grown since it first launched. The mission of Artosphere is to celebrate artists, influenced by nature, who inspire people to live more sustainable lives.