101 Town Center, P.O. Box 5655, Bella Vista, AR 72714 (479)876-1255

Public artworks to be unveiled at Library

Three new works of public art are coming to the Bella Vista Public Library. Join members of the Bella Vista Arts Council to unveil these public artworks from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, December 10 at the library, 11 Dickens Place in Bella Vista.

The event is a celebration and continuation of Bella Vista Arts Council’s public artwork initiative, led by Arts Council president Demara Titzer. The three new public artwork installations have been in development for many months in partnership with the library.

Whimsy is an interior painted wall mural by Bella Vista resident artist Paige Dirksen.

"When designing something for this space, I wanted to create something for the library that would be really playful and whimsical, hence the mural's title, Whimsy. I wanted to strike a balance between something really colorful and engaging, while still having a sense of serenity to it,” Dirksen said, adding a lot of elements in the design give a nod to the flora and fauna surrounding the library.

To engage the community in her work, Dirksen encourages parents and library staff to ask children viewing the mural what they interpret in the abstract designs.

Mantis is a 2D steel sculpture by Northwest Arkansas artists Alex Cogbill and Paul Siebenthal. The sculpture is cut from steel and powder coated in bright yellow and orange colors that will be in harmony with the garden landscaping at the library.

The bright, bold colors are striking upon even a glance, and the two different images of a praying mantis have been pixelated using geometry, which is an international language. All the black parts seen depicting the mantises will be negative space.

“Paul and I are interested in things that surround us in our daily lives, but are often too small, invisible to the human eye, or are hidden beneath the earth’s surface and go unnoticed,” said Cogbill, adding this sculpture provides viewers a new way of seeing nature.

Wheels In Motion is a 2D mosaic by resident artist Stevie Stevens and was created using new and recycled bicycle parts, stained glass, vitreous glass, Venetian glass, glass gems and mirrors. The recycled parts were donated by Pedal It Forward and Mojo Cycling in Bentonville. As visitors drive towards the library, they will see the mosaic change colors and sparkle, enhancing the green space surrounding the library.

Stevens’ intent for the mural is to merge the excitement for our beautiful outdoor scenery, biking and public art.

A meet and greet opportunity is scheduled with the four artists throughout the event. Each of the artists will talk about their work and the inspirations behind their designs. 

The Bella Vista Arts Council is an advisory board to the City Council, and its public art initiative started in 2018 with the donation of the abstract stainless steel sculpture titles Marilyn Monroe. In 2021 a fundraising campaign by the Arts Council, in partnership with the Bella Vista Library Foundation, funded the purchase of the installation of six upcycled metal fireflies, titled FireFly, around the library grounds. The yellow bulbs of each firefly light up upon dusk, delighting visitors of all ages. In November 2022, a mosaic installation surrounding one of the Little Sugar Trails tunnels under Chelsea Road, along the Tunnel Vision and Tweety Bird trails, was unveiled, after taking more than two years to complete, from planning stages to reveal.

Titzer and members of the council have been working with Bella Vista Mayor Peter Christie and the City Council members to invest in public art for community engagement, to enhance the beauty of Bella Vista and create an art tourism campaign in partnership with Discover Bella Vista, the city’s Advertising and Promotion Commission. 

It is now a well-accepted principle of urban design that public art contributes to a community's identity, fosters community pride and a sense of belonging and enhances the quality of life for its residents and visitors.