Fayetteville, Bentonville, Springdale and Rogers have impressive art communities, galleries, museums, crafters and innovators who are making their mark on the state.By Amy Gordy
SEE & DO
First Thursday is the night to see art openings and enjoy live music, craft vendors and food trucks on the Square in Fayetteville. Don’t miss what’s new at Fayetteville Underground (101 W. Mountain St.), which showcases regional art and hosts a variety of community events.
Step onto the University of Arkansas campus to tour The Fine Arts Center Gallery (340 N. Garland), which was designed by noted architect Edward Durell Stone in the 1950s.
The Bentonville Square hosts events year-round including culture- and shopping-themed First Friday events April through November. Galleries including Meteor Guitar Gallery (128 W. Central Ave.), Two25 Gallery & Wine Bar (225 S. Main St.) and more welcome local and regional work. 21c Museum Hotel (200 NE A St.) offers upscale accommodations as well as 12,000 square feet of exhibition space integrated throughout all areas of the property, with permanent works and rotating exhibitions.
Museums & More
Internationally celebrated Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (600 Museum Way) put Bentonville on the map, and brings breathtaking indoor and outdoor exhibitions as well as educational programming throughout the year. Look for “Stuart Davis: In Full Swing” through Jan. 1, “Soul of a Nation” Feb. 3–April 23, and “Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Artists” May 26-Sept. 3.
Fayetteville’s Walton Arts Center (495 W. Dickson St.) offers a variety of fantastic productions. Catch a show from their Broadway series, a concert by a top national act or a family-friendly musical. Live music doesn’t get bigger in Northwest Arkansas than at Walton Arts Center’s Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion (5079 W. Northgate Road) in Rogers, known as The AMP. This outdoor music venue accommodates 9,500 people with 3,200 covered seats on a sloped lawn. Catch well known national acts in all genres of music.
Theater Squared (505 W. Spring St.) in Fayetteville is recognized by the American Theatre Wing as one of the nation’s ten most promising emerging theaters. It’s quickly outgrowing its home in the Walton Art Center’s Nadine Baum Studio, and construction began in June for the theater’s new downtown facility—a 51,500-square foot world class performing arts space—which should be completed by mid-2019.
The film scene is alive and thriving in Bentonville. The fourth annual Bentonville Film Festival (BFF) will happen May 1-6, with expanded programming. The festival, co-founded by Academy Award winner Geena Davis and Inclusion Companies CEO Trevor Drinkwater, provides a platform to advocate for inclusiveness in all forms of media. BFF 2018 will feature an inspiring line up of narrative and documentary films. Submissions close Dec. 12, with a late submission deadline of Jan. 12.
Mark Your Calendar!
The Fayetteville Roots Festival brings the best in music and food at this annual event in late August. Look for an impressive lineup of folk and alt-rock musicians, and culinary events and tastings from top regional chefs.
Northwest Arkansas Fashion Week hosts annual fall and spring fashion shows in Northwest Arkansas. The fall show, on Nov. 9-10 at Drake Field in Fayetteville, will showcase the works of designers and boutiques across the state and introduce two new awards. Look for the spring runway show in March.
You’ll want to do your holiday shopping at the second annual Cattywampus Co-Op Wampus Wonderland from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Dec. 2 at the Fayetteville Town Center in downtown Fayetteville! This fun, off-the-wall local craft show hosts an eclectic range of handmade goods for sale.
The Little Craft Show is back this year with two holiday craft fairs. Get your locally made goods at the Fayetteville Town Center on Nov. 25 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., or at The Record in downtown Bentonville on Dec. 16 from noon-6 p.m.
There are tons of shops, galleries and boutiques to snag a handmade or Arkansas-themed gift in the land of the Razorbacks. Terra Studios (12103 Hazel Valley) in Fayetteville is home of the Bluebird of Happiness and Pink Bird of Hope and showcases the work of more than 100 artists and crafters. Explore the sculpture garden and art gallery, see live demonstrations or participate in an art class. On the Fayetteville Square (15 S. Block Ave.) or in downtown Bentonville (100 NW Second St.) stop into The Mustache Goods & Wears for unique gifts and locally made goods. The Anchor (1 E. Center St.) in Fayetteville offers a great selection of home decor, many of which is made locally. The Handmade Market (1504 N. College Ave.) has been the place to find handmade jewelry, gourmet foods, bath products, apparel and more since it opened in Fayetteville in 1996. Handworks (106 SE A St.) in Bentonville offers handcrafted artisan gifts, bath and body products, candles, jewelry, pottery, and more. Stop into the Crystal Bridges Museum Store (600 Museum Way) after you view the latest exhibit to grab a souviner and shop the locally made art and crafts. Shindig Paperie (100 W. Center St) in Fayetteville is the place to outfit your office with designer pens, organizers and locally made stationery.
Learn the art of cooking, baking or mixology when you sign up for a culinary class at Honeycomb Kitchen Shop (213 W. Walnut St. ) in Rogers, or just browse the shelves for kitchen gear and locally made jams, jellies, spices, cutting boards and more.
EAT & DRINK
Pink House Alchemy (1010 SW A St.) in Bentonville offers small batch artisan syrups, bitters and shrubs to transform a nightcap into a work of art. Fayetteville’s Markham and Fitz (4170 M.L.K. Jr. Blvd.), formerly known as Hello Cocoa, is a bean-to-bar chocolatier who went through a recent name change and will also be headed to a new location at Bentonville’s 8th Street Market in December.
Northwest Arkansas has a strong presence in the craft beer scene with Ozark Beer Company (1700 S. First St., Rogers), Apple Blossom Brewing Company (1550 E. Zion Road, Fayetteville), Core Brewing & Distilling Co. (2470 Lowell Road, Springdale), Black Apple Crossing Cidery (321 E. Emma Ave., Springdale) and many more.
MEET THE MAKER
Excellent craftsmanship, gorgeous wood finishes, conservation and American pride all come together in the home and office furniture designed by Rogers-based Ecovet Furniture Company. EcoVet is a veteran transition company that targets previously deployed veterans who are currently enrolled full time in a higher education program. Ecovet offers them training in carpentry and way to make a living while working on their degree with a flexible schedule and a living wage.
The company operates in an eco-friendly way by repurposing decommissioned semi truck trailers to supply the wood and metal used to create furniture—one trailer can provide enough wood and metal to construct between six and eight conference tables. When the trailers don’t have what the crafters need, Ecovet keeps its carbon footprint low by sourcing wood from Northwest Arkansas mills.
You can find the company’s beautiful, veteran-made furniture in many corporate offices throughout the state. Stop into the showroomat 807 W. Hudson Road in Rogers. ecovetfurniture.com.