KUAF Arts Beat: Fenix's Artist Driven Collective

Dec 7, 2017

Robert Ross' "A Garden in Paris"

The Fenix Collective rounds out a rich year for the arts in Northwest Arkansas with an exhibition throughout the interior of the Chancellor Hotel in downtown Fayetteville, on display through January 6.

Gallery curator and organizer Jeanne Parham, photographer Sabine Schmidt and artist Octavio Logo discuss their excitement for their colleagues featured in the show, the changes undergone by Fenix over the past year, and their hopes for the future of the Northwest Arkansas art world on site at the current exhibition.

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Kevin Arnold's "Slow Burn"

Walking into the Chancellor one is immediately greeted by the striking sculptures of Eugene Sargent and, just beyond the front doors, a larger-than-life canvas of bright shattered vertices by Kevin Arnold, with other pieces are placed strategically across the first and second floors. While not all of Fenix's 30 dues-paying artists are featured in the exhibition, there is a diversity of styles, moods and techniques on display, from relative newcomers to established Fayetteville artists like Robert Ross.

"We're doing it all for Bill," Schmidt says, referring to painter Bill Flanagan, a founding member of Fenix who passed away earlier this year.  Fenix celebrates its inaugural year as a collective of artists formed on a horizontal model, where each member has a stake in the other's success. 

The enthusiasm for this artist-driven endeavor emanates from Schmidt, Parham and Logo, who each have passionate words for the community they're wanting to create and sustain.

"We can complete something complete different," says Logo. "We love the community, and we think that it would be amazing just to continue."

An exhibition of small works for holiday shopping will also run at Stage Eighteen 5 to 9 p.m.  Thursday, December 7th, as part of downtown Fayetteville's First Thursday initiative.