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News | Arts and SciencesApril 27, 2023

A Touch of Color Coming to the Historic District of Chaffee Crossing

Written By: Ian Silvester

University of Arkansas – Fort Smith professor of graphic design Bryan Alexis has been commissioned to install a mural, bringing a “great splash of color” to the recently renovated Barracks area in the Historic District of Chaffee Crossing.
Alexis is working with Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority (FCRA) executive director and CEO Daniel Mann and FCRA director of marketing Lorie Robertson on the project. Before the end of May, visitors to the Barracks will be able to not only view the mural on the back of the small guard shack at the entrance to the area but also “experience” it.Guard shack at the entrance to the Historic District of Chaffee Crossing

The project is named “Impact Area,” Alexis says it’s “an homage to the many, many people who have come through Fort Chaffee and have made an impact on this region.” The mural will highlight the soldiers, refugees, and civilians who once called Fort Chaffee home.
“It is especially rewarding to have it created by a local artist,” said Mann. “We are very proud to bring an art installation of this caliber to western Arkansas in honor of the thousands of men and women from all over the world who passed through Camp Chaffee and Fort Chaffee.”
With a background in graphic design, Alexis is bringing a modern touch to the traditional display of art. He said the mural would also have an augmented reality animation feature, allowing visitors, historians, and every passerby to experience a deeper story of Fort Chaffee. Mann believes the mural will provide “an artistic welcoming message” to the area like Chaffee has done for the last 82 years.
“I hope the community will see themselves in the work and continue to realize the wonderful and diverse tapestry of humans that make up the River Valley and the contribution that Fort Chaffee has made to add to and enrich our culture,” said Alexis.
Alexis has completed more than thirty murals across Arkansas and Oklahoma. “Impact Area” is set to be completed before the opening of the Chaffee Crossing Farmers and Artesian Market. The mural and attached augmented reality feature will be located at 7301 Fort Chafee Blvd., Fort Smith, Arkansas.

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