Camille Walala Takes Over XNA Airport with “Ice and Slice”

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OZ Art NWA and Justkids present large-scale installation by London-based artist, visible from the air, while in-terminal activation offers up-close engagement for visitors 

Photo and artist bio available here.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (May 9, 2022) – ”Prepare for landing,” will take on new meaning when flights begin their approach to XNA this summer. Seatbacks might be in upright position, but necks will be craned to catch a glimpse of Bentonville’s newest large-scale art installation, Ice and Slice, created by French artist Camille Walala. Taking its title from a classic line that British air hostesses would repeat to travelers on board when offering them a drink, “Would you like Ice and Slice of lemon in your drink?”  The winsome installation, produced by OZ Art NWA and curated by Justkids in partnership with XNA Airport, will be revealed in early June 2022.

“We had so much fun installing Camille’s work in Hot Springs a few years ago and started looking for opportunities to bring her spark and positive messaging to Bentonville,” remarks Olivia Walton, who leads the vision for OZ Art NWA.

Executing a full takeover, covering everything including the rooftops of side-by-side service buildings along Regional Avenue leading to the Airport, OZ Art and Justkids bring their vision to life in massive scale, creating a warm welcome and lasting impression for visitors to the region as well as a pleasant reminder for residents – art experiences are part of everyday life in Northwest Arkansas, and one of the many things that make this region among the best places to live in the country. “Northwest Arkansas is an increasingly vibrant cultural destination and Walala is a brilliant artist to signal that to visitors, even before their feet touch the ground,” Walton continues. “When thinking about artists whose work would spark joy and creativity in the community – and make an unforgettable first impression from a thousand feet above – Camille was a perfect fit.”

Within the airport terminal, central to all gates and visible from XNA’s security checkpoint, a lounge space designed by the artist will greet flyers. This interior installation is created to give visitors an opportunity to get close to, and get a close-up with, the artist’s work.  Lounge furniture reflecting the brilliant color scheme and bold patterns of the outdoor work will make a perfect selfie-station as flyers are arriving and departing northwest Arkansas. Centrally located in the bustling airport, the lounge is positioned to give flyers a moment of exaltation and relaxation amid travel tedium.

“Taking over the XNA airport with 2 pieces – a mural on two massive buildings and an installation right inside the airport – was incredibly appealing for the magnitude of the project and its sky-high visibility,” remarks Walala.  “Details of the bold graphics and colors will be visible from the sky to inspire travelers and connect with the world.”  Justkids founder and curator Charlotte Dutoit expands, “Camille is such a versatile artist, perfectly aligned with OZ Art’s mission to make art accessible and part of everyday life. Her fantastic ability to breathe new life into architecture and create welcoming spaces is perfect to lift visitors’ spirits and give a taste of Bentonville’s growing art portfolio.”

Inspiration and connection are at the heart of OZ Art NWA’s work enlivening the region through art. Indeed, the massive Walala installation will not just be seen from above but will become a new landmark for vehicle traffic heading to and from the airport – a burst of color in the center of the industrial landscape.

Ice and Slice installation will begin on May 10 with Justkids local team executing the work. OZ Art NWA plans a second installation with Walala on the grounds of the Momentary later this year. 

About Camille Walala

Camille Walala (b.1975) is a multidisciplinary artist working across the fields of art, architecture, textile art and graphic design. Her practice has taken her all over the world to transform homes and workspaces with her signature tribal-pop style. Drawing on influences including the Memphis Movement, the Ndebele tribe, and op-art master Victor Vasarely, Walala has an irrepressible enthusiasm for playful, graphic patterns that invoke a smile in all who view them.

As purveyor of positivity, expressed through vibrant colors and bold patterns, Walala now focuses on projects with greater scope and at a greater scale than ever before, with an overriding ambition to imbue the world’s urban landscapes with eye-popping installations full of soul-stirring energy.

About Justkids

Justkids is a multi-disciplinary women-led art platform providing design, curatorial and production services for public and private art initiatives.  With a strong international network of leading contemporary artists, curators, and creative teams, Justkids offers wide-ranging visual experiences that engage diverse audiences and communities. Justkids collaborates with cities, communities, innovative brands, and institutional spaces to drive visual culture and create unforgettable experiences that celebrate art.

About Oz Art NWA

OZ Art NWA makes art part of everyday life by bringing together an incredible network of museum-worthy art, artists, events and experiences in unexpected places across Northwest Arkansas. Founded in 2017 to provide accessible, diverse contemporary art encounters, OZ Art NWA supports the regional arts scene both by collaborating with local arts organizations and by showing its collection in a variety of public locations throughout Bentonville and beyond. The Collection includes more than 400 works spanning a variety of media and forms, including murals, outdoor installations, sculptures, paintings and drawings that highlight important issues such as diversity, gender equality and racial equity.

About XNA Airport

Only one of two Airport Authorities in the state of Arkansas, XNA Airport keeps pace with the growing demands of the NW Arkansas thriving economy and passenger traffic by providing increased passenger destinations and expanded customer service – what the residents and visitors to NW Arkansas have come to expect and deserve. Northwest Arkansas’ dynamic economy, coupled with strong air carrier partners’ responses to demand, combine to make the Northwest Arkansas National Airport the most eXciting New Airport in the country. The airport opened for commercial passenger business on November 1, 1998.

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