Artist Stefan Sagmeister Puts a New Meaning Behind “The Natural State” with Lakes & Rivers

Artist Stefan Sagmeister Puts a New Meaning Behind “The Natural State” with Lakes & Rivers


The addition to the OZ Art NWA collection celebrates the state’s commitment to natural experiences and vibrant art 

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (June 19, 2023) – The Natural State shines at the intersection of art and nature with the newest addition of Lakes & Rivers by artist Stefan Sagmeister to the OZ Art NWA collection. The installation began on May 22nd and is expected to complete by the end of June. 

Lakes & Rivers is a sculptural installation of two smallmouth bass, calling on Arkansas’s abundance of natural outdoor experiences and robust outdoor recreation industry. The larger of the two smallmouth bass measures about 93 feet long, which is the same as the average length of a blue whale, the largest animal on earth.

“The inspiration for this mural came directly from the rivers and lakes surrounding Bentonville. We noticed that they’re being used more and more for activities meant to delight. So, we created a data visualization showing the number of kayaking Americans tripled in the last 15 years from 6 million people – represented by the small fish – to 18 million people of the large fish,” Sagmeister said.

A native of Austria, Sagmeister has designed for a diverse array of clients such as the Rolling Stones and the Guggenheim Museum. He’s a two-time Grammy award winner and has earned several esteemed international design awards.

Artist Stefan Sagmeister Puts a New Meaning Behind “The Natural State” with Lakes & Rivers

268,947 shimmer disks bring this impressive new artwork to life. Viewers will watch the artwork respond to changes in natural light and air, creating mesmerizing shimmering reflections reminiscent of the waterways found throughout Arkansas. 

Lakes & Rivers thoughtfully incorporates the Natural State’s incredible outdoor recreation industry and natural water sources, with the accessibility and beauty that makes up Northwest Arkansas’s vibrant arts atmosphere. The two smallmouth bass act as a visual representation of the growth of waterways and paddlesports across the nation, as well as the booming outdoor recreation industry in Northwest Arkansas. The convergence of art and nature make Bentonville and the surrounding Northwest Arkansas region the best place to live, work, and play.

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Sagmeister’s work is already on view in Bentonville at Ledger, the world’s first bikeable building, with Now is Better, Bentonville, 2022. In this artwork a collection of mosaic critters lining the bikeable switchback ramp of the building.  Produced in partnership with OZ Art NWA and Ledger, the installation features 13 varied species of local Ozark insects, leading up to an impressive 95 unique mosaics embossed within the concrete on the top floor of the building.

Arkansas Cycling & Fitness.

“We are excited to bring another distinctive artwork by Stefan Sagmeister to Bentonville and to partner with Ledger on the project once again,” OZ Art NWA Director of Collections and Exhibitions, Elizabeth Miller, said. “We are particularly excited about how this artwork reflects the growth already occurring in outdoor recreation, and hope it encourages more people to experience the wonders Arkansas has to offer, both here in downtown, and those found on the waterways nearby.”

The OZ Art NWA collection brings artworks and installations by renowned artists to the most unexpected places in Northwest Arkansas, seen throughout the Bentonville, Downtown Square, and favorite local establishments. Through The Collection, appreciation for fine art becomes a daily part of life in Northwest Arkansas. 

Lakes & Rivers is expected to complete installation by the end of the month. To learn more about Lakes & Rivers and the OZ Art NWA collection, please visit

Artist Stefan Sagmeister Puts a New Meaning Behind “The Natural State” with Lakes & Rivers

Searcy County Waterfall

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