Community

“A Paved Paradise: Painted Up Parking Lot”

Press release, Lindsey Honea, Southwest Arkansas Arts Council Board of Directors President


Hope, Ark. – The Southwest Arkansas Arts Council continues to grow the ARTPark in Downtown Hope this
weekend. On Saturday, April 24 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm the community is invited to participate in painting a
mural on the parking lot. All supplies will be provided for free — no art degree is required.


The ARTPark is an ongoing project with SWAAC and currently features more than a dozen sidewalk paintings
and parking lot murals. This weekend will complete the first row of the four-row parking lot in Downtown
Hope. The ARTPark sits in the 100 block of East Division Street in a city-owned lot near the train tracks, town
visitor center and local arts council office.


Bringing together artist from all over southwest Arkansas and beyond, SWAAC is spearheading this effort to
revitalize this section of Hope.


“It’s been exciting to see artists of all talent levels work on the murals,” said Lindsey Honea, SWAAC President,
who has helped paint six of the completed spots over the last year. Honea and her father, Larry Moses, of
Main Street Smokers, also held a fundraiser for the ARTPark earlier this year to ensure the project remains
free to the community.


The sidewalk surrounding the parking lot features works of art from local artist Lilly Allen of Blevins, as well as
global artist, Mariano Padilla of Buenos Aires. There are also multiple sidewalk creations from the University
of Arkansas Hope – Texarkana Creative Arts Society, led by Lisa Pennington.


Saturday’s event will be held in conjunction with the Hope-Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce’s event,
Super Saturday Sidewalk Sale, which will feature special sales from downtown businesses from 10:00 am to
3:00 pm.


“The ARTPark is one of the many ways we’ve been able to remain engaged with our community during
COVID,” said Honea. “There are 33,000 square feet where we can social distance while being together and
creating a lasting mark on our city.”


The original idea to bring the ARTPark to life is credited to former SWAAC Executive Director, George Smith
who said his “vision was to turn (this parking lot) from an afterthought into a destination” by filling it with art
that is as varied as the southwest Arkansas community.


The ARTpark is just one of a number of ways that SWAAC brings art enrichment to the Hope community,
which is part of the agency’s mission. The Arts Council itself is 35 years old. SWAAC has partnered with
Hempstead Hall for a performance series that will resume in February 2022 with the Glenn Miller Orchestra.
SWAAC brings the arts into the Hope classrooms, too, through the Artist in Education program.
To participate in Saturday’s event, simply show up at 100 E. Division Street in the parking lot behind Tailgaters
Burger Company. You will be given a paint can and brush with simple instructions on how to make your mark
on Hope.


For more information about SWAAC, please contact Lindsey Honea at swaac13@gmail.com or visit our website at
SWArkansasArtsCouncil.org.

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