Fayetteville Underground Gallery

Name: Fayetteville Art Alliance/Fayetteville Underground Gallery
Address: 101 w Mountain St. Fayetteville AR 72702
Contact: Sharon Killian
Email: contact@fayettevilleunderground.com
Website: fayettevilleunderground.org
Phone: 479-439-8641
Open Hours: Thursday-Saturday 10 am-pm, Wednesday/Sunday by appointment

How is the project operated?
It is a non-profit.

How long has it been in existence?
Since 2009.

What was your motivation?
Our motivation and mission is to promote the visual arts in Northwest Arkansas, support area artists working to the highest standards, and encourage education and public engagement in the arts.

Number of organizers/responsible persons of the project.
The Fayetteville Art Alliance is currently run by a working board of directors that ensures the organization is mission driven and sustainable. There are two staff positions, an Executive Director and a Gallery Manager for the Fayetteville Underground Gallery. We also rely heavily on a pool of volunteers (20 or so) to greet patrons, run the front desk, and prepare for events.

How are programs funded?
The Fayetteville Art Alliance/Fayetteville Underground is funded by a variety of sources including grants, donations, art sales, community events, working-studio rentals and sponsors.

Who is responsible for the programming?
A curatorial panel determines exhibitions and suggests accompanying programming.

Number and average duration of exhibitions/events per year. What kind of events are usually organized?
The Fayetteville Underground produces a new exhibition each month featuring 1-5 guest artists and the works of artists already exhibiting in the Gallery

In addition we collaborate with other partners to bring art to spaces around Norhtwest Arkansas. This year we will have 4 such exhibitions. Our recent partners have been the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce and Fossil Cove Brewery.

Additionally we provide two weekly Figure and Portrait drawing sessions with models for any artist in the community to participate.

We also open our space up to outside music concerts, serious up-and-coming artists from various disciplines who need a venue for experimental music, theater or pop-up exhibitions, and other art related events, usually between 12-20 a year. This has recently included “Shirkey Shows”, NWA Comedians, and Last Saturday.

How is your programming determined?
Our programming is mission driven to encourage education and public engagement in the arts.  This mission is centered around visual art and that emerges from diverse points of view. Our most exciting programming shares the  multiplicity of cultures within our region so that our communities can see themselves in the work and programming.  We also reach out nationally and internationally to bring additional perspectives and encourage cross-cultural exchanges.

Do you accept proposals/submissions?
Yes, send email to contact@fayettevilleunderground.com for application guidelines.

What is your artistic/curatorial approach?
We do not have a closed door; look for contemporary original works, including 2D, 3D, video, installations, etc. Excellence in technique.  Excellence in concept, and so on.

What’s working? What’s not working?
Our most exciting exhibitions over the last year were the Queer South: Alternative Expressions in the Bible Belt, Ozark Artistry including the work of Tim West, Artists of Color: Crossing Boarders featuring Joelle Storet, Octavio Logo, Hisae Yale, Cory Perry and Ulon Fae Barnes, and Waterworks by Terry Shoffner our guest artist for June ‘16. These shows brought a tremendous of number people to the Gallery with old and new ties to Fayetteville and Northwest Arkansas. All of the exhibitions mentioned above except for Waterworks, were in part supported by a Walmart grant.

What has not worked is repetitious exhibitions resembling a closed co-op group and lack of diversity.

What kind of role do you hope to play in your local art scene or community?
First, we are really proud to be in Fayetteville as an art and community entity that can straddle local, regional, national and international art making and delivery scenes.  After all, this does reflect the makeup of our communities.  We like to be able to have that personal connection between artists and viewer as the artwork usually always comes with the artist so visitors get to interact.  That direct contact is educational and engaging and cannot be matched, even by the finest YouTube video!

What idea are you most excited about for the future?
Sustainability goes hand in hand with proven excellence and outreach and we are working hard to accomplish both.



Images courtesy of Fayetteville Underground.

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