Adding Color In Grey Winter Of NWA

Adding Color In Grey Winter Of NWA

By Terrah Baker

Michele Marshal decided to add color where there was none, along Fayetteville trails and for nothing more than to brighten up the place, she said.

“I tell people that want to come visit me that it’s so beautiful here most of the year, but as green as it is in the summer, it is as gray in the winter,” said Marshal.

That’s why she decided to use a self-conceived project she called AmbushFayetteville to turn her renewed passion for photography into random street art, adding even more to Fayetteville’s colorful community. The photos that now line the trail system are abstract depictions of what’s produced when perfect lighting and the natural beauty of a flower meet.

Most modern photographers use computer-based programs to get that soft, yellow glow, with perfect point of focus and depth, but not Marshal.

“I don’t like sitting in front of a computer, so I just do everything with the camera to make sure everything’s right, so I don’t have to do it later,” she said.

The mechanics of photography didn’t always come easy to Marshal. She studied the subject in college, but was bogged down by the math and the process of developing, as just film was used at that time. Then, almost 12 years after putting down her camera and changing her major to ceramics, she witnessed one of nature’s inspiring pictures.

“I just looked over at this orchid by the window and it really hit me: it’s so beautiful, the light was great, indirect light and I thought ‘I have to photograph that,’” Marshal said.

She used a point-and-shoot for the first few, but eventually invested in a digital single lens reflex camera and her photography hobby took off. She wants to make it a more professional venture, but said it’s hard to get inspired if she thinks about the business side.

“Some people can meld their passion with a money-making venture. It’s very hard for me to do that in a creative capacity.”

So, she does it to offer people a chance to slow down, and be inspired by the random color amongst the gray backdrop of winter in Fayetteville. With the help of friends and family, the six pieces were placed first on Frisco Trail by the Walton Arts Center up to Scull Creek Trail to Wilson Park, and will be moved once a week to undisclosed locations.

To learn more about Marshal’s project AmbushFayetteville, visit her website The showing of Marshal’s pieces will take place March 12 at the Press Room in Bentonville, with an artist meet and greet.

Categories: Galleries