Rob Coleman of real estate development company ERC has hired artist Kat Wilson to curate a visual arts program at the HUB at Providence in Chaffee Crossing. Wilson is developing the program in keeping with Coleman’s mission to create multi-dimensional spaces that encourage people to connect.
Wilson has invited several Northwest Arkansas-based artists to create pieces that examine the history of the region and invite people to engage deeply with spaces they typically only move through. The art program aims to act on ERC’s philosophy of thinking beyond the surface. Some pieces will be in conversation with the Janet Huckabee River Valley Nature Center and the Fort Chaffee community.
Each artist will be paired with a filmmaker who will direct a short film aimed at helping patrons of The HUB find a deeper connection to the art and artists. The artists and filmmakers commissioned for the program at this time are Kendee Hughes, Amos Cochran, Matt Miller, Phillip Person, and Erin Lorenzen.
The first film, directed by Fort Smith–based filmmaker Phillip Person explores the work of painter Matt Miller—the first artist in the program—who cultivates an art practice around meditation and discovery, and is currently painting a series of murals which will be on permanent display in adjoining buildings. The film can be found on ERC’s YouTube channel and at this link: https://youtu.be/oGYQ7hpkpDM
In addition to the permanent pieces commissioned specifically for The HUB, a regularly rotating series of installations will encourage residents and patrons to stop and engage with the art itself. This will include a series of workshops hosted by the artists at The HUB or at other nearby places in the Chaffee Crossing area.
As a part of the art program’s mission to view land through community and historical lenses, Wilson will also create a short documentary examining the influence on the community of the Vietnamese refugee camp located at Fort Chaffee from May until December 1975, placing special emphasis on the Vietnamese people who stayed in Fort Smith and the impact their presence has had on the city’s culture and growth.
The HUB is a development project focused on building a community that includes retail spaces, townhouses, luxury lofts, and an exciting new restaurant. The HUB is a part of Providence, a community of high-end single-family homes and the only development connected by an internal trail system to the Fort Chaffee trails.