Dear Diary / Bxbmi / Site Specific Installation / 2021

A MONTH LONG ART EXPERIENCE

ASSEMBLY is the first of its kind, community engaged, curatorial training program and regional open call exhibition. Launching in the summer of 2021, ASSEMBLY brought together 7 curators and 50 artists, into 13 exhibitions across 10 venues in Downtown Springdale for the month of June. The project was the culmination of a four month curatorial intensive program that took six emerging artists and partnered them with industry professionals to learn the ins and outs of exhibition making. The next iteration of ASSEMBLY will launch in January 2022 with exhibitions in Summer of '22.

ASSEMBLY is the first of its kind, kaleidoscopic project created to bring together, cultivate and spotlight artistic talent in the region. This June in Downtown Springdale, INTERFORM is showcasing a series of 13 multimedia exhibitions PLUS a Designer Runway Show ALL curated by and featuring local and resident artists expressing talent of all types and genres. this project, collectively titled ASSEMBLY, is the culmination of the work of 7 curators, working alongside INTERFORM leadership. Through four months of collaboration they have created a unique and immersive set of art experience across multiple venues and locations. The curators selected artists, handpicked artworks, created exhibition themes, coordinated with spaces, and worked together to install their exhibitions. The result is a month long project high-lighting the talent of creatives from across the region. INTERFORM's goal is to empower more cultural producers who can expand opportunities across the community. We see the addition of curatorial skills to the local landscape as a step toward democratizing access to exhibitions and cultural opportunities.

Assembly program 2020

HER - CUrated by Jess Whalen

This show is about the history, stories, and perspective that being a woman is. We experience life in deeply empathetic, visceral ways. We become story keepers and storytellers as we soak in all of this life. Some are the stories of those we love, some are the stories of those before us with strong shoulders we now stand on, but mostly there are the stories of us and how we see the world. This is an exploration of women and how we process life, the world, and the people around us. My goal for this space is for it to feel safe, honest, and celebratory. And I think this alchemy of artists is perfect for injecting that life into the show. 

Featuring: Danielle Hatch, Jenn Terrell, Lucero Aguirre, Kennedie Daniel, Kellie Lehr, Robyn Jordan

FRAGMENT - CURATED BY COCO LASHAR

Fragment is a collection of work from local NWA artists that repurpose and reconstruct memories, objects, time, and space. This process of storytelling using collected bits of life explores how we can translate the world around us using our individual experiences. We ourselves are collections of fragmented memories, relationships, and perspectives. We are able to grow and change through this never-ending process of gathering and letting go. These works are an amalgamation of different fragmented parts of life and interpretations of each artist’s experience, that come together and offer something whole, something new.

Featuring: Damned 2 Divine, Jesse Johnson, Stephanie Petet, Taylor Loftin

FLOW - Curated by Marcela Rojas-Perez

Have you ever felt so immersed in what you’re doing that you lose yourself in the process?

The concept of flow stems from the creative process There is a loss of awareness of time, of yourself, and everything is just “clicking”. Flow comes with practice, by seeking to surprise yourself and discover new things about yourself and the activity that you are engaging in. Flow is overcoming the urge to stop at every mistake. Flow is activity, resilience, and perseverance. 

What is your flow?

Featuring: Maximiliano Calabotta, Jesse Johnson, Jacob Skinner, Orlo

KORA EM AN KIL - The Creative Women (of the Marshall Islands)

Organized by Basana Chhetri and Fei Debrum.

This project was a Marshallese collaborative pop-up shop featuring handmade goods such as dresses, necklaces, earrings, head bands, and bracelets. All proceeds when directly to the artists.

Featuring: Fei Debrum, Gina Janer, Valentina Lokebol, Tie Lawin

(A) typical sanctuary - Curated omar bravo

(a)Typical Sanctuary is a safe haven where the selected artworks have a home and live in. There is no judgement here in (a)Typical Sanctuary. All that is different, unique, is welcomed here and treated no different than anything else. Guest that enter this new world will become a part of a scene full of color, light, and sound, experiencing and connecting back to the sense of wonder that everyone can enjoy again and again.

Featuring: Athulu, EARL, Goop World, Kara Chanthala, Nuubeum, PrintGurl

YES. AND... - curated by Robin wallis atkinson

This exhibition holds space and grants permission for the celebration of art. As we all begin to unmask, allow this art, also, the room to breathe. It may hold deeper messages for you to unravel below the surface, but it needs no more justification than the joy of creation and the communities built around it. Be brave with our understanding of what is possible Allow ourselves an optimistic and expansive notion of what can come to be. We each have conflicting and complicated experiences that frame our understanding of images and artworks we encounter. IN this exhibition, allow yourself to hold two contradictory thoughts as true simultaneously. Allow things to be as complicated as they are. Isn’t there poetry in that? Allow the answer to be, at least when you are in this space: Yes. And…

Featuring: Amber Perrodin, Ashtone, Blue Brasher, Brody Parrish Craig, Bxmbi, Cheryl Kellar, Coco Lashar, Evelyn Sosa, Jess Whalen, Jonathan Perrodin, Junli Song, Kathy Thompson, Kayla Andrus, Leah Grant, Lucero Aguirre, Marcela Roja-Perez, Melissa Loney, Shelby Fleming, Omar Bravo, Rumwolf, Live Deliciously, Stacy Pants, Tay Butler, Trinity Kai

optical synergy

Optical Synergy aims to blend two different mediums to create on symbiotic experience. Much like Springdale, which is full of diverse people and cultures coming together in a community, this exhibition embodies and explores how two very different artists and mediums can come together to crete one cohesive piece. 

Featuring: Eel Eye, NUGZ

MEET THE CURATORS

  • COCO LASHAR
    COCO LASHAR

    Coco Lashar is a 25 year old creative & designer currently based out of Fayetteville, Arkansas. In May 2020, she received a BFA in Graphic Design, graduating with a thesis project on creating resources and community for young artists. She currently works as a Junior Designer at Archetype Productions and hopes to continue integrating design, research, and art into her practice.

  • EVELYN SOSA
    EVELYN SOSA

    Evelyn is the Creative Director of Art and Cultural Programming at The Teen Action & Support Center. Evelyn has a passion for helping others and has coordinated fundraisers for Seven Hills through music events and yoga donation classes. Evelyn also works at Seeds that Feed, a non-profit helping provide access to fresh food to food pantries, shelters, and elderly patients who face food insecurity. She believes that the best way to impact your community is by helping provide basic necessities and resources. She hopes to continue to create connections and opportunities to get involved in the community. Her interests include cooking, creating digital art, DJing, traveling, and listening to music.

  • JESS WHALEN
    JESS WHALEN

    Jess Whalen is a filmmaker and Storytelling strategist at Jessica Whalen Films. Everything she does is centered around seeing and celebrating the magic of the mundane and everything that makes people so inspiring. She’s an empathetic listener who is passionate about holding up a mirror to show you just how amazing, brave, and beautiful you are. When she’s not behind the camera or coaching people on how to best tell their stories to their own audiences, she spends her time reading, playing music, and watching movies with her husband and their dogs, Ron and Leslie. Jess is excited to get to embed her love of story and celebrating the human spirit into a more fine-art approach and to learn more about curating experiences for people. She can't wait to meet more members of the NWA Arts Community!

  • OMAR BRAVO
    OMAR BRAVO

    Omar Bravo, or more commonly known as “Hungry,” is a 23-year-old Mexican-American artist originally born in Garden Grove, California, who currently lives in Springdale, Arkansas.“Hungry” is known for his psychedelic use of bright colors and imagery, bringing in influence from graffiti, the rave scene, video games, and fashion. These influences help create a mesmerizing world of color that invites the viewers to play in while capturing the wondrous, child-like affinity for things that glow. He is a self-taught artist in drawing, digital art, painting, screen printing, and sewing. Throughout the past several years, he has participated in the art scene in NWA, from painting murals to curating local events and art galleries in Springdale, Arkansas. His motivation is to create a space that brings forth art and artists that aren’t afraid to go against the grain and don’t readily conform to the norms of traditional art.

  • MARCELLA ROJAS-PEREZ
    MARCELLA ROJAS-PEREZ

    Marcela Rojas-Perez is a first-generation Chicanx born and raised in Northwest Arkansas. As both an artist and long-time community member of this region, they have been able to find ways to incorporate their love for the arts and people in their roles as a community healthcare worker for UAMS and Inservice mentor for TASC. Through their artistry and work, they have often bore witness to the beauty and strength that come with connecting art and community. They hope to continue building that connection in their future endeavors.

  • PRESTON POINDEXTER // CURATORIAL PROGRAM COORDINATOR
    PRESTON POINDEXTER // CURATORIAL PROGRAM COORDINATOR

    Preston Poindexter moved to Arkansas from Memphis, Tennessee, and attended the University of Arkansas on a full-ride scholarship with which he studied both Computer Science and Marketing. At the age of 18, Preston began writing and recording songs for local artists in the Northwest Arkansas region in-between his studies. Preston is an aspiring model and has been featured in the INTERFORM (formerly known as Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum’s) nationally recognized #GetYourMaskOn campaign that has reached over 20,000 individuals virtually. His love of the fine arts has placed him as not only a musician and model but also as an award-winning member of the National Speech and Debate Association. As the youngest member of the INTERFORM team, he is continually searching for new and creative ways to enhance the artistic community, not only in Arkansas but in the country as a whole. /// As a fulltime employee of INTERFORM and as the participant in this program, Preston will act as a point of contact for curatorial cohort members, will help with administrative needs of the cohort, and will help troubleshoot event details and programming as the project develops.

Interested in joining Assembly II? Let us know!