The Unexpected

Fort Smith Unexpected Project Murals
Fort Smith Unexpected Project Murals
Fort Smith Arts & Culture
Fort Smith Unexpected Project Tigers

Public Art Meets Contemporary Style

When you visit downtown Fort Smith, you’ll notice the Unexpected Project which includes murals painted on the walls of buildings. These art pieces are installations from The Unexpected — an annual art festival aimed at revitalizing the downtown area.

Get to Know The Unexpected

Each year, The Unexpected brings artists from all over the world to showcase their original art pieces on a large scale. Sculptures, murals and other creations are designed and displayed for the world to see. While the program is still in its beginning years — it started in 2015 — it’s already receiving a lot of recognition. Residents and tourists can experience this 10-day festival and see the artists while they work.

Look for murals by these notable artists:

  • Guido van Helten - Artist Guido van Helten participated in the 2016 Unexpected Project, completing a mural on the OK Foods grain towers. The painting depicts Fort Smith residents Kristina Jones, Edward Paradela and Gene "Beck" Beckham, a man who was associated with the company for more than 70 years.
  • VHILS - VHILS, a street artist from Portugal, created the face of an unknown Native American on the side of a downtown building. While it may appear to be a standard painting at first glance, the art becomes even more admirable when you realize it was actually carved from stucco.
  • D*Face - D*Face, an artist from the United Kingdom, painted the giant gun mural titled “Bad Lands.” The creation was part of the 2015 Unexpected Project, but can still be seen downtown.