Editor's Note: Supporting local has always been something that is extremely important to us. As our company’s namesake comes from Fayetteville, AR itself, we find it important to daily convey the unique spirit that makes Fayetteville Fayetteville. Our favorite form of doing so is through tee art.
Tee shirts are, without any great surprise, the bread and butter of Fayettechill and they have been since the beginning. But what we feel sets them apart, what keeps the Fayettechill Family growing year after year, is the ever evolving art on our tees. We’re proud that this year’s collection of Spring tees features designs by three iconic Fayetteville artists, Matt Miller, Chad Maupin, and Joelle Storet. We figured-- no better way to present the spirit of our region than through the minds and creations of three locals. Welcome to the local artist series.
Meet Joelle Storet, a socially fluent polyglot from Belgium who became first obsessed with art through her grandfather's involvement in the comic book world. She has recently taken on curation of the Underground Art Gallery and is using it as a means to highlight the many forms of art found throughout Fayetteville.
FC: Tell us a little about yourself. How'd you get started as an artist? With Fayettechill? What's your favorite type of creative work?
Joelle: I taught myself how to paint at a very early age inspired by my grandfather, Batukezanga Zamenga, who was a writer/novelist/comic book writer in the Congo. Comic Books and Animation have been in my family for as long as I can remember. I am originally from Belgium, and we are famously known around the world as being the comic book capital of Europe.
Living in Fayetteville during college, I vaguely knew some of the Fayettechill founders. But it was not until after graduation that an old friend introduced me to them. It has been a long friendship since. I would say my favorite type of creative work is making friends and networking with a common ground. Science provides facts, the arts provide reasoning.
FC: You designed the Backpack Bear tee for us this season. Can you tell us a little about your inspiration behind this design?
Joelle: I grew up traveling all over Europe part of Africa since I was born. Relocating and calling exotic places home, is something all too familiar to me. The Backpack Bear design more less was inspired by a trip I took for 5 months while traveling from Belgium to Berlin. Of course being a polyglot and knowing 7 languages, granted easy exposure to most of those cultures.
FC: Tell us about your role as an artist in NWA. What psychs you up as far as the local art scene goes?
Joelle: I was recently appointed Gallery Manager and Curator of the Fayetteville Underground Art Gallery on the downtown square. We serve as a cultural embassy to support our local artists to the highest standards, and encourage education and public engagement in the arts throughout Fayetteville and the surrounding area.
The Fayetteville Underground provides the service of a showcase of regional art, special events, as well as new exhibitions every month. In addition to monthly exhibits, the work of visiting visual artists is showcased regularly throughout the year. All aspects of art in Fayetteville are encouraged through The Fayetteville Underground’s mission, including dance, film, painting, drawing, ceramics, music, and comedic theater. I also have the pleasure to be introduced to many talented and upcoming artists, and helping them get acquainted with an appropriate supportive crowd from sales to advertising and marketing.
Anyone interested is welcome to visit us on the square at 101 West Mountain Street, Suite 222. There is no entrance fee you just have to pay attention to the art.