Zombie Art Show Invades Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Jenny Cowan took her first sip of water from the Harding Basin. It tasted sweet, and rich, and for the first time in a while she felt hopeful. She said a quiet prayer under her breath to thank God. He had told her in a vision to come here, to find this spring, and to drink from it every day for a year. Nothing else she tried had worked, but she knew this would. Drinking this water would cure her, and she would finally regain her sight.

Jenny Cowan was one of thousands of people who travelled to Eureka Springs in the late 1800s to drink from the naturally occuring springs here. One of thousands of people who journeyed here – clutching at their side in pain, or walking tenderly on a leg that had been badly injured, or struggling to breathe through an asthma attack – to find their cure.

More than a century later, on the 2nd of November, 2012, history looked to be repeating itself in Eureka Springs. The main street of town filled with hundreds of people, limping slowly, looking grey and sickly, with open wounds all over their bodies. The difference was, these people weren’t looking for a cure. They were just looking to have a good night with their friends, check out some art, and maybe eat some brains.

Zombie Art show Invades Eureka Springs, Arkansas (Promotional Video from 2013)

Eureka Springs has always been a city with an affinity for the mystical and the supernatural, and it was this affinity that Jeff Danos tapped into when he launched the first Eureka Springs Zombie Crawl in 2012. At the time, our CEO and Creative Director Jeremy Mason McGraw had long been an advocate of embracing the city’s unusual history and enthusiasm for the supernatural to promote the city as a Halloween destination. So, Jeremy reached out to Jeff and proposed he launch a Zombie-themed art show to complement the Zombie Crawl.

The Zombie Invasion Art Show that Jeremy coordinated featured Zombie themed art created by twenty young artists from the region. In order to promote the event in the lead up to Halloween, Jeremy wrote and directed a short film, which received thousands of views on YouTube and attracted local media attention.

One of the most popular features at the event was an improvised Zombie photo booth made up of a camera on a tripod that would fire every 30 seconds aimed at a ratty old couch that Jeremy and JD Davis, a friend and fellow artist, had salvaged from hard rubbish the day before.

In an interview with one local publication at the time, Jeremy encouraged Eureka Springs residents to attend the art show in their full gory Zombie regalia. He told the Lovely County Citizen, “We want Zombies looking at Zombie art,” and he was certainly not disappointed.