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‘Nostalgia’ Art Show at NWA Mall to Feature 28 Artists


There were fashion shows in the center square, not far from the cookie shop. There were concerts on occasion. Puppet shows. There were sidewalk sales, and fireworks extravaganzas.

There were movie nights at the Mall Twin Cinema, mall walkers and teenagers roaming the corridors and hanging in the food court.

Years ago, the Northwest Arkansas Mall was a gathering place for all types of events, and though that hasn’t been the case as much lately, the mall will soon be home to an art show that longs for the glory days of the large indoor shopping center still operating on the north side of town.

The pop-up show, curated by local artist Alex Bodishbaugh, is called Nostalgia, and will take place in the space formerly home to a Banana Republic inside the mall for three nights, April 14-16.

The show will include more than 100 works by over two dozen artists from Fayetteville, the surrounding region, and artists living and working in other locales around the country, all curated around the theme of nostalgia.

Artists expected to show work at Nostalgia include Matt Miller, Christina Mariotti, Louis Edward Love V, Summer Bostwick, Chloe Jones, and several others.

The idea behind Nostalgia, Bodishbaugh said, is to help connect local artists to folks interested in purchasing local art, all in an interesting, unexpected location to create “a viewing and buying experience that is simple, enjoyable and memorable for both parties.”

It is a ticketed event, with a VIP night from 7-9 p.m. on Thursday featuring early access to the show, a goodie bag, beer and wine bar, and other festivities. The Friday and Saturday shows will be open from 6-9 p.m.

Tickets to the show go on sale on Tuesday, March 15.

We got in touch with Bodishbaugh to learn more about her vision for the show, and she was nice enough to answer some questions for us.

Tell us a bit about what you have planned with the Nostalgia show next month. What are you hoping to accomplish with the show?
Nostalgia is a pop-up art exhibit, located in the old Banana Republic space at the Northwest Arkansas Mall. Nearly 30 artists, across mediums, will show over 100 contemporary works. All artwork in the exhibit will be tied to feelings of nostalgia, as interpreted by the artist. The majority of participating artists are based in NWA, but there is a handful of exciting art coming from Nashville, Chicago, and New York. In addition to art, there will be a variety of experiential elements that play off of the retail bones of the space.

As a working artist, I’ve felt a gap between artists and consumers. Most people are comfortable engaging with art at the museum or community project level, but by and large, I’ve found the average person is intimidated and unsure about how to buy and collect art for their home. On the flip side, most artists are intimidated and unsure about how to make a living by selling their art. My goal with Nostalgia is to connect artists with consumers and to create a viewing and buying experience that is simple, enjoyable and memorable for both parties.

Nostalgia will also reimagine what it means to “invest in art”. All original art in the show will be for sale, but there will be affordable print offerings of each piece as well. You should be able to walk away with a tangible piece of art, regardless of your budget. Simply posting or sharing about an artist’s work is also encouraged as a cost-free way to help support established and emerging artists alike.

I get wordy and in the weeds when I start to discuss all of the things I hope to accomplish with the show, but I guess ultimately I hope Nostalgia brings together a diverse group of people from our community and helps artists tell their stories and show their work to a large audience.

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Dustin Bartholomew is the co-founder of Fayetteville Flyer, an online publication covering all things news, art and life in Fayetteville, Arkansas since 2007. A graduate of the Department of English at the University of Arkansas and a lifelong resident of the area, he still lives in east Fayetteville with his son Hudson, daughter Evelyn, his wife Brandy, and his two dogs Lily and Steve. On occasion, he tickles the ivories in a local band called The Good Fear.

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