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CB to You Mobile Art Lab: Fort Smith

Festival
Offsite
FREE
No Registration Required
CB to You Mobile Art Lab

Energizing Community Through Art!

Fort Smith, the CB to You Mobile Art Lab is coming to your neighborhood!

Join us this September at the Boys and Girls Club Jeffery Center (4905 North O St) and Downtown Fort Smith for three days of creativity and conversation focused on energizing communities through art. Each day of the visit will feature different activities and artists, as well as pop-up performances throughout the evening and weekend.

From artmaking and Storycircles to artist talks and live studio demonstrations, this traveling celebration of creativity promises to bring a little bit of inspired fun to everyone. Each stop will culminate in a free outdoor concert and community art showcase.

Join us in celebrating your hometown by creating art, stories, and memories together!

Free, no registration required.

Activity Schedule-at-a-glance

Thursday, Sep 23
Boys and Girls Club Jeffery Center

Artists: Lakisha Harper Bradley & Jeffry Cantu

2 – 6 PM: Drop-in Studio and Artist Demo

Artmaking : Acrylics

4 – 6 PM: Pop-up Performance w/ Craig Colorusso

5 – 6 PM: Storytelling w/ Shannon McGill, Ozark Poets and Writers Collective

Friday, Sep 24
Boys and Girls Club Jeffery Center

Artist:  Junli Song & Jeffry Cantu

12 – 5 PM: Drop-in Studio and Artist Demo

Artmaking: Clay

5 – 6 PM: Storytelling w/ Dextra Rodriguez, Open Mouth Reading Series

5 – 6:45 PM: Pop-up Performance by Papa Rap and the fun love drum circle

Saturday, Sep 25

No Activities Saturday, Sep 25

Sunday, Sep 26
Downtown Fort Smith (913 Garrison Ave)

Artists: Markeith Woods & Jeffry Cantu

1 – 5 PM: Drop-in Studio and Artist Demo

Artmaking: Painting

2 – 3 PM: Storytelling w/ Akau Anyieth, Poetic Justice: Speak Your Jewel!

6 – 7:30 PM: Live Music w/ Lady Anitta, presented by Music Moves

Activity Details

Thursday, September 23

Activities from 2 to 6 PM

Artists of the Day: Lakisha Harper Bradley & Jeffry Cantu

Jeffry Cantu lives, volunteers, and studied at the University of Arkansas as a student in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He was (volunteer) curator at Bastion Gallery in Fort Smith and was the scenic artist for the UAFS Theater production “Mist and Shadows.” Cantu specializes in three-dimensional design and mixed media abstract work. He says, “art helps me overcome PTSD and gives me the freedom to break imposed labels and rules to create a more vibrant life.” Cantu is represented by Art Ventures NWA. Cantu was an artist for the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art COVID Relief program in 2020 in collaboration with the Fayetteville Housing Authority.

Jeffry Cantu headshot

Lakisha is a Social Practice Artist, Executive Director and Founder of MY-T-BY-DESIGN Therapeutic Art Studios located in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She uses a variety of painting mediums and uses art-making as a way to experience and release euphoric emotions.

Lakisha and Jeffry will be at the library from 2 to 6 PM and will be introducing guests to a therapeutic art studio experience involving acrylic paint. Following the art activity, Lakisha will lead an artist discussion inspired by her own experiences with community, belonging, and resilience.

Lakisha Bradley
Guitarist Craig Colorusso

An extra pop-up performance will be given by artist Craig Colorusso! Craig will perform Ladybug Cathedral at the library from 4 to 6 PM! Using a bowed guitar, Craig’s Ladybug Cathedral is a long, slow, and deliberate performance that invites listeners to just listen and let the sound wash over them. Craig is a sound-based artist whose explorative work extends beyond sound and utilizes light and sculpture. In the past five years, Colorusso has combined his interests in the permanent and semi-permanent works: Sound Swings, Moon Pod, Covered Bridge ONE, and The Tunnel.

Poet Shannon McGill

After the artist hours, Shannon McGill from the Ozark Poets and Writers Collective will be our featured storyteller from 5 to 6 PM to cap off the night! Dextra will share readings of her own work while guiding a storytelling circle, encouraging guests through activity prompts and storytelling to participate in writing and sharing stories about their experiences in their own communities.

Before you go, don’t forget to pick up your free art kit to take home!

Shannon McGill is the author of two novels, Naked: A Collection of Poetry, Journal Entries and Short Stories, which was awarded a local bestseller in Fort Smith, Arkansas and Unrequited Life. Shannon currently resides in Farmington, Arkansas and is a Senior at The University of Arkansas seeking a degree in Communications while minoring in Rhetoric. In her spare time, she practices yoga, reads, and spends time with her children, partner, and pets.

The OPWC is a non-profit organization devoted to the joys of the spoken and written word and is based in Fayetteville, AR. They support and promote community involvement by providing various opportunities for poets and other community members.

Friday, September 24

Activities from 12 to 6 PM

Artist of the Day:  Junli Song & Jeffry Cantu

Junli is a storyteller and uses visual narratives to explore the cultural ambiguities of being Chinese American. Her work reveals how identity is fluid as inherited stories and traditions are continually evolving.

Junli & Jeffry will be at the Jeffrey Boys & Girls Club from 2 PM to 6 PM and will be introducing guests to a printmaking activity. Following the art activity, Jeffry will lead an artist discussion inspired by his own experiences with community, belonging, and resilience.

Before you go, don’t forget to grab your free take-home art kit!

Junli Song
Papa Rap and the Fun Love Drum Circle

An extra pop-up performance by Papa Rap and the fun love drum circle will be held from 5 to 6:45 PM. Papa Rap will be performing alongside Bongo Luigi Vazquez and together they will teach everyone about different drum rhythms and cultures through reading stories, hands-on activities, singing and dancing!

Papa Rap, also known as Al Lopez, is a Puerto Rican musician who connects communities through music-making and performances. The goal of his music is to encourage understanding and togetherness through educational and fun lyricism!

Poet Dextra Rodriguez

After the artist hours, Dextra Rodriguez from the Open Mouth Reading Series will be our featured storyteller from 5 to 6 PM to cap off the night!

Dexta Rodriguez is a lifelong Arkansawyer and writer. She first received accolades and a monetary prize for her poetry when she was in second grade. Dexta teaches art history and composition on the university level. She has most recently written on falling in love (at a certain age) against the backdrop of the pandemic. She is also working on writings that integrate NPR stories into the minutia of daily life and a benefit performance to benefit abused women.

Open Mouth Reading Series is a community-based literary organization located in Fayetteville, Arkansas. They have partnered with local organizations to bring engaging and creative events, programming, experiences, exchanges, content, and dialogues to Northwest Arkansas. OM hosts monthly readings and writing workshops as well as many other writing and engagement opportunities for poets and community members. Their featured poets will share readings of their own work while guiding a storytelling circle, encouraging guests through activity prompts and storytelling to participate in writing and sharing stories about their experiences in their own communities.

Saturday, September 25

There will be no Mobile Art Lab activities on Saturday. The fun continues Sunday, September 26!

Sunday, September 26

Activities from 1 to 6 PM

Artists of the Day: Markeith Woods & Jeffry Cantu

On Sunday, we have a day full of artists and performances! Kicking off the fun-filled day will be our artists-of-the-day, Markeith Woods and Jeffry Cantu! Markeith and Jeffry will be at Garrison Commons from 1 to 5 PM and will be introducing guests to a painting and figure drawing activity inspired by portraits of community members. Following the art activity, Markeith will lead an artist discussion inspired by his own experiences with community, belonging, and resilience.

Markeith is a portraitist who is interested in human character and uses symbols, words, and images to recreate his experiences. He uses many mediums, such as charcoal, graphite, acrylic, and pastels, to observe the subjects that interest him.

Markeith Woods
Poet Akau Anyieth

At 2 PM, an artist from the Poetic Justice: Speak Your Jewel! will be our featured storyteller of the day! Their featured poet, Akau Anyieth, is a science teacher and an artist. He will share readings of his own work while guiding a storytelling circle, encouraging guests through activity prompts and storytelling to participate in writing and sharing stories about their experiences in their own communities.

Akau believes in the power of hands-on learning when it is immediately applicable in the real world. Akau has also studied animation for 5 years and hopes to one day open all-Black animation studio that features all-Black and African cartoons and creators.

Poetic Justice: Speak Your Jewel! is sponsored by the local nonprofit organization Light House Solutions. Speak your Jewel is a diverse group of Social Artists within the NWA area. They come from all different walks of life to spark courage and participation within the community. Their artists are known for activating their jewels through dance, poetry, singing, painting and acting to deliver the power of their stories. Their mission is to help people believe humanity and divinity are one within us and their mantra is: You must never suffocate the genius that lies within you.

Gospel artist Anitta Smith

For the finale of the tour, CB to You invites you to a live music gathering at 6 PM by Gospel artist Lady Anitta, presented in collaboration with Music Moves.

Presented by Music Moves, Anitta Smith, professionally known as Lady Anitta, moves with the spirit and frequency of God translating, executing, and orchestrating Kingdom sounds in multiple genres.

Lady Anitta has been grooming groups and choirs since the early 80’s, beginning with her first music position at St. Mark Baptist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas under the pastorate of Dr. Murry Swanson. From there, many doors were opened for her to share her gift and ministry. She has served as Worship and Arts Pastor/Minister of Music in Kansas City, Kansas, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Fort Smith and Little Rock, Arkansas, and now Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Writing and raising has been a passion for her, having done so for the Arkansas Gospel Mass Choir under the leadership of the late Reverend Gerald Thompson and for her debut solo CD entitled Lady Anitta and Friends, produced by Reginald James of Music Moves.

Her latest single, One Word, produced by Steven Ivy of Ivy League Productions demonstrates her arranging and background vocal strength.

Don’t forget to pick up a free art kit to take home with you!

About CB to You

The CB to You Mobile Art Lab is a traveling pop-up art experience energizing the power of community through art. Featuring regional artists from across Northwest Arkansas, the art lab will be visiting local libraries and festivals around the region to bring artmaking, music, storytelling, and more. Find out more about the program, see a full schedule of stops, and get to know our guest artists here!

The CB to You Mobile Art Lab is presented in partnership with Ziba Rijabi, Markeith Woods, Lakisha Harper Bradley, Trinity Kai, Tay Butler, and Junli Song. Pop-up performances will be performed by Papa Rap’s the fun love drum line, Craig Colorusso’s Lady Bug Cathedral Sessions, and Music Moves. Story sharing events are presented with Ozark Poets and Writers Collective, Open Mouth Reading Series, and Poetic Justice: Speak Your Jewel!