BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA / KFTA) – “Prepare to land” will take on new meaning as flights begin approaching the XNA this summer as a new, large art installation, “Ice and Slice”, created by French artist Camille Walala, will be unveiled in June.
According to a press release, it got its name from a classic sentence that British air hostesses would repeat to passengers on board when offered a drink: “Do you want ice and a slice of lemon in your drink?”
“We had so much fun installing Camille’s work in Hot Springs a few years ago and started looking for opportunities to bring her spark and positive messages to Bentonville,” notes Olivia Walton, who leads the vision for OZ Art NWA.
Executing a full takeover, covering everything, including the roofs of parallel service buildings along Regional Avenue leading to the airport, OZ Art and Justkids “revive their vision on a large scale, creating a warm welcome and lasting impression for visitors to the region as well as a pleasant reminder experiences are part of everyday life in northwest Arkansas and one of the many things that make this region one of the best places to live in the country. ”
“Northwest Arkansas is an increasingly vibrant cultural destination, and Walala is a brilliant artist who signals this to visitors, even before their feet touch the ground,” Walton continues. “When I think of artists whose work would foster joy and creativity in the community – and leave an unforgettable first impression from a thousand feet above – Camille fit perfectly.”
Inside the airport terminal, in the center of all entrances and visible from the XNA security checkpoint, a lounge area designed by the artist will welcome flyers. This indoor installation was created “to give visitors a chance to get closer and see the artist’s work up close.”
Living room furniture that reflects “great color scheme and bold outdoor work patterns” will be the perfect stop for selfies as flyers arrive and depart for northwest Arkansas. Located in the heart of the bustling airport, the lounge is positioned to “give flyers a moment of sublimity and relaxation amidst the fatigue of travel”.
“The takeover of the 2-part XNA Airport – a mural on two massive buildings and an installation inside the airport – was incredibly attractive due to the size of the project and its visibility to the sky,” notes Walala. “Details of bold graphics and colors will be visible from the sky to inspire travelers and connect with the world.”
Justkids founder and curator Charlotte Dutoit expands: “Camille is such a versatile artist, perfectly aligned with OZ Art’s mission to make art accessible and a part of everyday life. Its fantastic ability to breathe new life into architecture and create welcoming spaces is perfect for lifting visitors’ spirits and giving flavor to Bentonville’s growing art portfolio. ”
The “Ice and Slice” installation will begin on May 10, and the work will be performed by the local Justkids team. OZ Art NWA is planning a second installation with Walal at Momentary Field later this year.