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Dirksen creating mural at library

by Rachel Dickerson | November 23, 2022 at 5:00 a.m.
Rachel Dickerson/The Weekly Vista Paige Dirksen of Bella Vista works on a mural titled "Whimsy" that she is creating at the Bella Vista Public Library in the children's wing.

Print maker and muralist Paige Dirksen, of Bella Vista, is in the midst of a mural project in the children’s wing at the Bella Vista Public Library.

She has lived in Bella Vista since July 2021 and moved here from Auburn, Ala. She has lived in Arkansas before, she said. She has a bachelor of fine arts in print making with a psychology minor and a master of arts in art therapy counseling.

“I’m happy to be in an area that has a lot of support for the arts,” she said. “Any time I can get a giant, blank canvas like this to work on, that’s really exciting for me.”

She recently completed a mural for Pedal It Forward, a nonprofit in Bentonville that provides bicycles to people who cannot afford them.

“I’m really passionate about community arts and how art can foster community,” she said. “I love being able to enhance spaces that are really meaningful. Being able to enhance spaces that really engage the community feels really meaningful to me, too.”

She added she is a library patron as well and mother to a 6 year old and a 3 year old.

“The staff and the volunteers here do such an amazing job, especially with the children’s area,” she said. “It’s nice to be able to contribute to their efforts.”

The title of the mural is “Whimsy.” She explained that it, like a lot of her printmaking, involves a lot of geometric, abstract designs.

“My goal is to create something colorful and playful for this space,” she said. “It was a challenge to find the right color palette.”

She said she worked with the existing space to find a palette that is playful but relaxing and something that the staff enjoyed. She worked with a couple of different designs and color palettes until she got it right, she said.

“This space is so beautiful,” she said, gesturing to the large windows overlooking the woods. “I was really inspired by the nature around.”

She continued, “I enjoy hearing what viewers see in the art. It will be interesting to see what children see in the mural.”

Dirksen said, “The Bella Vista Arts Council is the reason this is happening. They’re doing a great job of trying to increase public art in Bella Vista and engage residents through public art.”

“It’s been really fun to have people coming in and out while I’m doing it,” she said, adding it is enjoyable to have some feedback. “It changes every day, so it’s been fun for the staff to see how it progresses.”

She said she hopes to create more murals in the future. She wished to thank the arts council for its involvement and the library staff for the work they do.

To learn more about Dirksen’s art, go to paigedirksen.com.


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