Fort Smith has always been known for its Western heritage, but it is also becoming a destination for art lovers.

On July 19 and 20, the city will feature the sixth annual Art on the Border charity event, an art show where patrons can purchase the artwork on display.

“It is an art show where we sell the art, we take a percentage as well as we generate funds through sponsorship and donations and these funds are given to six charities in our community,” said Joan McCoy, event chair for Art on the Border.

The show will begin with a preview party from 5-9 p.m. July 19. This event will offer previous buyers, art collectors and charity supporters early access to the art on display and to meet and greet the artists who are selling their work.

On July 20, Art on the Border will be open to the public. The show will feature pieces from various mediums in the art world.

“They’re going to have different oils, pastels, acrylic, watercolors, fiber, hand-bone glass, jewelry, sculptures, gourd, digitally enhanced photographs, wood turning and baskets,” said Lianna Belling, Art on the Border marketing coordinator.

According to McCoy, Art on the Border began when the board for Classic Charitable Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping local charities, was looking to host a new event. Having already done a celebrity classic, a music fest and a charity golf tournament, the board was looking to do something new.

Board member Skip Freeman suggested they try an art show, and the idea took off. The first Art on the Border had 14 artists display their work. This year’s event, which is being held at Blue Lion UAFS Downtown and the Riverfront Pavilion, will have 60 artists from Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

This year’s honorary hosts will be former Fort Smith Mayor Sandy Sanders and his wife, Dr. Sandi Sanders. There will also be a children’s art show, where kids from the summer art camps offered by Bost, the Fort Smith Regional Art Museum and the Center for Art & Education in Van Buren will showcase their artwork.

Proceeds will go toward Ar Ts at Bost; Center for Arts & Education; The Donald W Reynolds Cancer Support House; Fort Smith Regional Art Museum; The Gregory Kistler Treatment Center; and Riverview Hope Campus.

For information and to view samples of the pieces that will be showcased, visit the Art on the Border Facebook page.