Work shown in a previous Fortoul Brothers solo exhibition at their 40Owls pop-up gallery downtown.EXPAND
Work shown in a previous Fortoul Brothers solo exhibition at their 40Owls pop-up gallery downtown.
Lynn Trimble

Expect to See a Lotta Fortoul Brothers Art at Lost Lake Festival

The Fortoul Brothers are headlining the arts programming for the Lost Lake Festival. The duo's artwork will frame three main stages at the event, which takes place from Friday, October 20, to Sunday, October 22, at Steele Indian School Park.

The inaugural Lost Lake Festival will include more than 40 musical acts, food and drink, and a marketplace featuring work by Southwest makers. It was founded by Superfly, the creative force behind the renowned Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Tennessee.

For Phoenix-based creatives Gabriel and Isaac Fortoul, the festival is a way to share not only their own work, but also the city’s vibrant cultural scene.

“This is a unique opportunity to help give birth to the inaugural festival and steer the creative direction,” says Gabriel Fortoul. “And it’s another way to help put the Phoenix community on the map.”

Lost Lake will include a curated selection of live music, arts, and entertainment. There’s even a Lost Playground, created with life-size interactive versions of childhood games, from croquet to Twister.

Rather than painting work on the massive scale needed for Lost Lake stages, the Fortoul Brothers are drawing small-scale sketches that will be digitally adapted for various festival settings – including a 30-by-50-foot backdrop for one of the stages.

Work shown during a previous Fortoul Brothers exhibition at their 40Owls pop-up gallery downtown.EXPAND
Work shown during a previous Fortoul Brothers exhibition at their 40Owls pop-up gallery downtown.
Lynn Trimble

“This is the first time we’ll be showing our work on multiple stages, and it’s exciting anytime you get to a chance to be among so many people,” Gabriel says.

Previously, they've shown their work in a pop-up exhibition space in downtown Phoenix and the annual FORM Arcosanti festival.

They’re still sketching out the exact design, but festivalgoers will see plenty of Arizona influences in the work. “A lot of our work is inspired by Phoenix, and things that make the desert beautiful, including the flora and fauna,” he adds.

It’s just the latest Phoenix project for the pair, who’ve lived off and on in the historic Garfield neighborhood for 15 years. They’ve got a studio in that neighborhood as well, and strong ties to the community.

For the Lost Lake Festival, the brothers will be selling merchandise featuring their art, with a portion of the proceeds going toward a community garden located at 13th and McKinley streets. They’ll be painting a block-long mural there in November.

They’re also working on designs for sculptural pieces for the new South Phoenix extension of the Valley Metro Light Rail, and exploring opening their own gallery and museum space here in Phoenix a few years down the road.

For now, they’re focused on the Lost Lake Festival.

And they’re in good company.

The festival will also include live mural painting by nine artists – including Anthony DeNaro, Lisa Von Hoffner, Isaac Caruso, David Bessent, Kyllan Maney, Clay Halling, and Adam Montoya. Three different artists will be live-painting each day.

For Gabriel, it's further evidence that Phoenix is a thriving, creative community.

"We're such a young city, so you can do something special and be the first one to do it," he says. "There's something magical about Phoenix, and that's the reason we're all here."

Lost Lake Festival takes place at Steele Indian School Park from October 20 through 22. For more information, see the Lost Lake Festival website.

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