French-born, London-based painter and designer Camille Walala has seen her work all around the world, mostly public installations, using her influence of the Memphis Movement and geometric and bright abstractions to adorn both murals and installations. Now, she has taken to the air, of sorts. Today, XNA Airport in Bentonville, Arkansas (home of the Crystal Bridges Museum) reveals the “Ice and a Slice” installation by Walala is now complete, covering the exterior of side-by-side service buildings on Regional Avenue. The project was curated by our friends at Justkids.
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 a slice of lemon in your drink?” The installation, produced by OZ Art NWA and curated by Justkids in partnership with XNA Airport, makes an unforgettable first impression both from the sky and on the ground.
“It has been exciting to watch the installation unfold over the past two months. Our goal was to signal the vibrance of Northwest Arkansas’ culture and community through a welcoming piece of public art,” remarked Olivia Walton, who leads the vision for OZ Art NWA. “Ice and a Slice gives visitors a taste of the energy here, and an impression of the art experiences that are part of everyday life in NWA”
The striking installation is reflected inside the airport terminal as well, greeting flyers through a lounge space designed by the artist. The interior installation was created to give visitors an opportunity to get close to, and get a close-up with, the artist’s work.
“This new collaboration with Oz Art was such a huge undertaking. The scale of the two XNA’s buildings is massive and the lounge installation was created and built completely from scratch. This is a dream project for an artist like Camille who has the incredible talent to breathe new life to architecture and to create welcoming spaces. With “Ice and a Slice” she was able not only to revamp and improve but also to create a shared experience combining public art and fun for Northwest Arkansas visitors and locals,” expressed Justkids founder and curator Charlotte Dutoit.
The lounge, central to all gates and visible from XNA’s security checkpoint, consists of furniture that mirrors the brilliant color scheme and bold patterns of the outdoor work. Travelers arriving and departing Northwest Arkansas have a new opportunity to take a moment of relaxation amid travel stress.
“Walala’s work will continue to spark joy and celebrate creativity in the Northwest Arkansas community at an entry point to Bentonville’s robust art culture,” Walton continued. “Inspiration and connection are at the heart of OZ Art NWA’s work, enlivening the region through art, and Camille’s work helps us to further our mission of making art part of everyday life.”