AAA Art Student Helps Small Business During COVID-19

At AAA we provide students with an education focused in the performing and visual arts. In addition, with instruction to mastering the arts we also show students how to work in the community as an artist by working with local businesses. One such example is the business Gooseberry Hand-Made Pies in Bentonville.  Paul Frintrup and his wife Abbie, owners of Gooseberry Handmade Pies, contacted AAA to inquire if visual art students could design and paint a storefront mural to attract business.

Unfortunately, during the early design phase of the project the breakout of COVID-19 prevented an organized effort to take place on campus.  During spring break Director of Arts Integration and Museum Partnerships, Aaron Jones, contacted the business to see about postponing the project for the fall.  After talking with the owners it seemed that a storefront design could help improve attracting business for curbside pick-up during this difficult time for small businesses. Mr. Jones planned to design and paint the storefront on his own time.  Fortunately, Jentry Dillinger a senior at AAA who had been one of the students who had planned to work on the project inquired if the project was going to move forward during the spring semester as she would like to be involved.   

Armed with paint brushes and acrylics the two took on the storefront mural.  This was Jentry’s first opportunity to work on a project of this size.  “It’s very different from working on a traditional canvas; the imagery, lettering, and overall message clearly has a more commercial intention than I am used to creating.”  “It’s been a learning experience, I’ve learned a lot about working large scale, painting on different surfaces and working with clients.  I look forward to working on more murals in the future”.  

With the success of the storefront design, the owners have invited Jentry to now paint a mural inside the business! So, when you have a craving for something sweet, drive by Gooseberry Pies in Bentonville and pick up a fresh hand-made pie while checking out Jentry’s art work!