Fayetteville's massive Bikes, Blues & BBQ festival, now in its 18th year, keeps getting bigger, which means more than a few growing pains. In the current divisive political climate, some Fayetteville residents are concerned about the proliferation of racist or sexist merchandise at the festival.
As a way to reflect the values of community within the context of the festival as a whole Olivia Trimble, sign painter and founder of Repaint Hate, and Marty Maxwell Lane, UA art professor and member of AIGA Northwest Arkansas, have launched a collaborative visual action aimed at promoting diversity.
"We are having a hate speech problem right now," says Marty Maxwell Lane, who's concerned about some of the merchandise that will be on sale this year at the rally. "We can't stop it from coming, and we don't want to be put in a vulnerable position, so how can we spin this around?"
The action includes a selection of yard signs and t-shirts that deliver a positive message that Trimble and Lane believe better reflect the diversity of Fayetteville. Repaint Hate/AIGA will also have a booth off the bike trail behind Arsaga's at the Depot during the festival and pop-up murals will go up across town.