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Camille Walala gives defunct gas station a vibrant makeover

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The latest color-bursting installation from the French designer

Gas station painted in colorful pattern Courtesy Justkids

Camille Walala calls herself a “purveyor of positivity,” and it’s easy to see why. The French designer is known for her bright, patterned “tribal-pop style”—bold stripes, dots, and lots of colors—that she often creates at room and building scale.

Her latest project transformed a defunct gas station in Fort Smith, Arkansas, into an eye-catching art installation for art collective Justkids’ exhibition The Unexpected.

Gas station building painted with black and white stripes and yellow and pink dots. Courtesy Justkids

And The Walala Pump & Go really is unexpected. Walala and a team of local volunteers took over the station, which sits at an otherwise nondescript intersection of town, and turned it into a bomb of color and geometries.

They painted the station with a black and white striped pattern, punctuated by splashes of deep blue, yellow, and pastel pink. Every inch of the old station is covered in the patterns, effectively turning the building into a building-size optical illusion.

With its new, vibrant paint job, the station has become a magnet for the community. It’s a reminder that it doesn’t take many resources—sometimes just some paint and creativity— to bring a run-down building back to life.

An aerial view of the transformed gas station, a pop of color against gray and beige surrounding buildings. Courtesy Justkids