Walton Arts Center proudly presents the 8th Annual Artosphere: Arkansas’ Arts + Nature Festival, May 4-20, at locations across Northwest Arkansas!
Artosphere invites the entire community to celebrate the intersection of art and nature with exciting events that are fun for the whole family. Featuring both free and ticketed performances, events and activities at locations across Northwest Arkansas, Artosphere celebrates artists influenced by nature and provides a creative framework to discuss issues of sustainability.
New in 2017, Artosphere is launching an app that will be updated throughout the festival with the latest news on featured artists, performances and events. In keeping with Artosphere’s sustainability mission, the new app reduces the use of paper programs and maps, helping minimize the festival’s impact on our environment. Information on how to download the app can be found below.
The annual Artosphere Trail Mix Weekend captures the very essence of Artosphere. For the ultimate outdoor arts experience, audiences hike or bike between stages while enjoying art and entertainment by a variety of artists and acts. On Saturday, May 13, enjoy a full day of fresh air and free entertainment along the Razorback Regional Greenway, from Fayetteville to Bentonville and locations in between. Saturday’s Trail Mix also coincides with the Square 2 Square bike ride along the Razorback Greenway. And on Sunday, May 14, Trail Mix fun comes to Fayetteville’s Walker Park.
With more than 90 musicians from distinguished symphonies and music programs around the world, the Artosphere Festival Orchestra (AFO) is entering its seventh year performing under the baton of internationally acclaimed Music Director Corrado Rovaris, AFO will present three performances: Mozart in the Museum on Friday, May 12, will take place in Crystal Bridges’ Great Hall and will be broadcast live on KUAF 91.3 FM Public Radio. Mendelssohn In Scotland on Wednesday, May 17 and the Artosphere Festival Finale concert on Saturday, May 20 will both take place in Walton Arts Center’s Baum Walker Hall.
Artosphere’s Chapel Music Series brings exquisite music to local churches and architectural marvels like St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, the E. Fay Jones-designed Mildred B. Cooper Chapel, the Great Hall at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and Chapel Ruins at Sassafras Springs Vineyard. This year’s Chapel Music Series features the Dover Quartet on May 9 and 13, Claire Lynch on May 11 and The Séamus Egan Project on May 16.
OTHER ARTOSPHERE FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS:
Manual Cinema’s Lula del Ray – May 4
An Arkansas debut! Performed with vintage overhead projectors, shadow puppets, actors in silhouette and live music, Lula del Ray tells the story (almost entirely without dialogue) of an adolescent girl who lives with her mother in the middle of the desert. After a chance encounter over the radio, Lula becomes obsessed with a soulful country music duo and decides to run away from home. Inspired by the music of Hank Williams, Roy Orbison and Patsy Cline, Lula del Ray is a mythic reinvention of the classic coming of age story, exploring the themes of loneliness, femininity and the iconography of 1950s and 60s Americana through live cinematic shadow puppetry.
Glacial Shifts, Changing Perspectives: Works by Diane Burko – Opens May 4
Internationally recognized artist Diane Burko creates large-scale paintings and photographic series documenting glacial melt and other dramatic changes to the Earth caused by global warming. Working in the crossroads between science and art, Burko captures the beauty and grandeur of vast mountain landscapes and highlights some of the profound transformations taking place in our environment.
Compagnia TPO: The Painted Garden – May 6
Celebrated Italian children’s theater company Compagnia TPO has become known for their visual, emotional and immersive theater that crosses the border between art and play. In The Painted Garden, dancers, performers and the audience itself interact with four virtual landscapes each linked to a different color and inspired by painter Rebwar Saeed’s memories of his childhood in Kurdistan. The audience is led into a digitally created world of astonishing sounds and images, where every movement made alters the visual display as the gardens burst into bloom and life.
MOMIX Opus Cactus – May 7
Known internationally for presenting work of exceptional inventiveness and physical beauty for more than 20 years, MOMIX is a company of dancer-illusionists celebrated for its ability to conjure up a world of surrealistic images using creative props and costumes, lights and shadows, and the human body. Inspired by the flora, fauna and simple magic of the American Southwest, this multimedia experience brings the Sonoran Desert to life, creating dynamic images of cactuses, slithering lizards and fire dancers. Its visual splendor, wit and sheer physical daring will leave you breathless.
The Way Back Home – May 14
Teater Refleksion of Denmark presents a story sure to fascinate your little ones! When a boy discovers a single-propeller airplane in his closet, he does what any young adventurer would do: he flies out into outer space! Millions of miles from Earth, the plane begins to sputter and quake. The fuel tank is empty, and the boy must execute a daring landing on the moon. But as it turns out, he is not alone up there…
The Man Who Planted Trees – May 19 and 20
This multi-sensory theatrical adaptation of Jean Giono’s environmental classic tells the inspiring story of a shepherd who plants a forest, acorn by acorn, transforming a barren wasteland. As much a touching tale as it is a hilarious puppet show, The Man Who Planted Trees shows us the difference one man (and his dog) can make to the world.
John Luther Adams’ Inuksuit – May 19
Grammy Award®-winning ensemble Third Coast Percussion returns to Northwest Arkansas to perform John Luther Adams’ expansive work Inuksuit. The title refers to the Stonehenge-like structures in the Arctic that the Inuit people used as markers to navigate their space. Inspired by the stones, Adams composed rhythmic layers within this massive, mobile community performance to represent the structures. Written for 9 to 99 musicians, Third Coast Percussion is currently recruiting community performers for this outdoor evening performance.
AFO: Off the Grid – May 18
Settle in or move around your favorite local pubs and other gathering places around Fayetteville’s downtown/Dickson entertainment district as Artosphere Festival Orchestra ensembles perform casual “pop-up concerts” for your listening pleasure. Download the Artosphere App for an up-to-date list of pop-up concerts.
For a complete festival event listing, visit artospherefestival.org.
Download the Artosphere App – available on Google Play™ and the Apple® App StoreSM. The Artosphere App is compatible with all standard smartphones and tablets. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Google Play is a trademark of Google Inc.
For tickets and more information about the Artosphere Festival and a complete event lineup, download the Artosphere App from Google Play or the Apple App Store, visit artospherefestival.org or call the Walton Arts Center box office at (479) 443-5600.