If you've visited Main Street in downtown Little Rock anytime soon, you've no doubt noticed the bright splash of teal on Capitol Plaza. The 5,000 square feet of color is the work of Fayetteville-based muralist Jason Jones.
Jones is a regular in northwest Arkansas with his work spanning from the walls of Maxine's Tap Room to the halls of the University of Arkansas. This mural is his second commission in Little Rock, his first being the larger-than-life robot next to Soul Fish Cafe on Main Street, combining street art with his other pastime, altering fine art he finds in thrift stores.
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Jones' mural at the corner of Main and Capitol is slowly beginning to take shape — there's now a bright red wagon in the mix — but if we've learned anything about his work, it's to expect the unexpected.
We caught up with Jones between trips up the scissor lift to find out more about this project and beyond.
With more than 100 murals in northwest Arkansas under your belt for all kinds of clients, how would you describe your personal style?
JJ: I think my personal style is best described as whimsical. With public art, I’ve learned that it’s difficult to please all the adults, so I try to create art that I think children will enjoy. I want my designs to be fun and spark imagination.
You're keeping the final Main Street design under wraps, but we've spotted bright colors and a few details beginning to take shape. Any other details you can share with us?
JJ: I was asked by Little Rock Downtown Partners to keep my design a surprise, so people can see it unfold as I work on it. I think it’s safe to say that it will have a sense of play, and I hope it will become a landmark that celebrates the city.
This is your largest mural to date. What's the most exciting or scary part about that?
JJ: The size of the mural is very exciting for me. Technically, I love a good challenge when it comes to painting. I grid my murals in order to keep everything to scale, so it’s a lot of measuring and math. I enjoy the problem solving. The scariest part is putting yourself out there on that level. I’m an introvert, so it can be quite intimidating creating art while so many eyes are watching.
Although you're based in Fayetteville, this isn't your first project here. What were you most looking forward to about coming back to Little Rock?
JJ: It’s always exciting to be in Little Rock. The people are the best part. Everyone has been very friendly and hospitable. I really appreciate all of the kind words from people who stop and talk..
What's your favorite mural you've done and why?
JJ: My favorite mural to work on was the "Fresh Air" piece I painted during the Green Candy Street Art Festival in Fayetteville. The theme of the festival was on sustainability and that was important to me. In addition, it was an honor to work alongside amazing international artists. I’m also really proud of the mural I recently painted for Onyx Coffee Lab at their new headquarters in Rogers. I worked really hard on the design and think it’s a powerful concept.
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