Chinese-American artist Ouizi‘s has unveiled her latest project in Bentonville, Arkansas, curated by women-led curator group Justkids and commissioned by local organization Oz Art.A new artwork flourished in Downtown Bentonville, appropriately titled “Summer Always Blooms”. Contemporary artist Louise Jones, aka Ouizi, painted an intricate bundle of oversized pink, white and yellow flowers, plus giant butterflies, sprawling across a building wall. The piece was produced and curated by women-led global curator group Justkids and commissioned by OZ Art, who recently partnered to bring 13 public art experiences by world-class artists, including Nina Chanel Abney, Lakwena, Camille Walala, Steve Powers, Mantra and many more, to 9 cities in Arkansas last Fall.
The Chinese-American artist made the most out of Spring and portrayed luminous flowers in full bloom. With a background in drawing and printmaking, Ouizi’s nature-based imagery and sinuous style is directly inspired by classical Chinese watercolor paintings and Ukiyo-e Japanese woodblock printing, specifically the ones that represent birds and botany; although her main source of inspiration are flowers. Ouizi also looks up to American master Georgia O’Keeffe for inspiration, widely recognized for her virtuosic large-format paintings of natural forms and iconic enlarged flowers. Simultaneously familiar and otherworldly, both Ouizi’s and O’Keeffe’s artworks depict vibrant and full-bodied scenes of nature. It’s no surprise that Ouizi’s first time in Bentonville, back in 2018, is directly connected to O’Keeffe’s retrospective The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Art at Crystal Bridges Museum, which invited the upcoming and noteworthy artist to paint a very special indoor mural in honor of the master herself, exclusively made for the show. “I am delighted and humbled to return to Bentonville to paint a new mural in the town square. When I was last here painting inside Crystal Bridges, it was Summer, so I look forward to seeing the city in the Spring!” said the artist about returning to Bentonville.
Much like her exclusive mural in the Crystal Bridges Museum, Ouizi’s latest outdoor work also features a combination of flowers found in the Northwest Arkansas region, painted on a building surface in her usual soft brushstroke technique and vibrant colors. The piece portrays coral charm peonies, dubbed The Queen of Flowers, flowering dogwoods, and black-eyed Susans or rudbeckias. “I have thoroughly enjoyed being back in Arkansas for this project, and I have heard nothing but positive responses about the mural. I even got to see the dogwoods start to bloom in real life!” – added Ouizi.
“We are very excited to be back in Northwest Arkansas and continue our collaboration with OZ Art to bring a new public art piece to Bentonville.” said Charlotte Dutoit, founder of Justkids. “For some time Ouizi was on our radar and part of our conversation with the team at OZ Art. This building, right on Bentonville’s Town Square, is such a focal point and busy corner that we were looking for a crowd-pleaser type of piece and Ouizi, with her beautiful style and subject matter, was the perfect match.”This is not the first time that Justkids has worked to bring public art to the Northwest Arkansas region, including Bentonville. Since 2015 the global curator group has curated and produced over 50 projects in the area, from sculptures to installations, performances, murals, and pop-up exhibitions for institutions, cities, and organizations.
Project: “Summer Always Blooms” mural – Commissioned by OZ Art – Curated by Charlotte Dutoit for Justkids. Date: April 2021 – Location: Bentonville, Arkansas