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By Nancy Peevy | Photos by Chadwick Turner

Art and Community

A couple’s Fayetteville home benefits their community, showcases their art, and entertains new and old friends

Tod Yeslow likes the provocative nature of art. “It gets you thinking, it gets you talking and sometimes it just matches the bedspread!” he said, laughing as he points to the painting, Collage #66 by Adja Yunkers, hanging beside the bed in the home he shares with his partner Jackie Telfair in Fayetteville.


More than 30 eclectic art pieces grace the home. “They are all different, and I’m in love with each and every single one of them,” he said. “They all have a different meaning to me.”


In the couple’s study, La Espera by Patricia Aballay depicts a row of people. “It’s so provocative that people can stand and look at it and come up with different things,” Yeslow said. “Are they waiting for heaven? Are they waiting for hell? Are they waiting for the shower? Are they lost? Story after story after story comes out of it.”

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An etching created in 1760 — one of several — hangs in the couple’s primary bedroom; another can be found in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and another in the National Art Gallery in Washington, D.C. Some of the art is personal, such as the portrait of Telfair’s mother at 19 by Mary Sims, who was a regional artist in Eureka Springs.


In the den, Yeslow pointed to two signed lithographs by Ecuador’s most famous artist, Oswaldo Guayasamin, which are personally impactful to him as they depict the plight of Indigenous people. One of Yeslow’s favorite pieces is a collection of six prints by local artist Marianne Wilson. “It’s very organic,” he said, “and you can sit and stare at it for a while and get more and more out of it as you look.”


Art consultant Bo Buelow assisted them in adding other works to their collection by artists with local connections, including a sculpture by Amanda Martinez, seven clay reliefs by Matthew McConnel and a 2018 piece by Robert Lemming.

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Two of their paintings pose the argument that popular kitsch can contend with high art — Ace by Robert Rauschenberg and Rise of Kuwai by Allison Belliveau-Proulx. Proulx’s painting appears as a street scene, but on closer inspection, the viewer can spot kewpie dolls and other kitschy items among journalists’ photos of the ravages of Hiroshima.


Longtime patrons of the arts when they lived in Dallas, Yeslow and Telfair took new jobs and moved to Fayetteville in 2009. The pair was pleased to find a vibrant art, music and theater scene in Northwest Arkansas, and they quickly got involved. Yeslow currently serves on the board of directors for the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas and the Northwest Arkansas Jazz Society; he previously served on the TheatreSquared board. The couple’s support also includes offering their garage studio apartment as a place to stay for actors coming in for TheatreSquared or musicians playing in the symphony.


“We love the community,” Telfair said. “We’ve got great art, a symphony, a world-class regional theater. We’ve got all the things we like doing. And this neighborhood is wonderful. We know most of our neighbors. We live close enough that we can walk to Dickson Street, walk to the Walton Arts Center or walk to TheatreSquared.”


The couple’s home was built in the late 1800s. They’ve remodeled it in stages, changing a bedroom into a study, redoing the primary bedroom and bath as well as renovating the converted attic space, making the entryway fireplace double-sided to also be enjoyed in the living room, and adding a pool, an outdoor seating area, a sleeping porch and the 600-square-foot studio apartment. Preserving the house’s integrity was important to the couple, so they kept the original windows and molding as well as the basic footprint.


“Tod spent a lot of time figuring out the house and how we wanted it to work, so we got every inch of space out of it,” Telfair said.

On a day-to-day basis, the couple uses all the 1,270-square-foot house — the den for watching TV, the study for reading, the dining room or outdoor kitchen for enjoying a drink in the evening, and upstairs for listening to music or hosting guests, Telfair said.


After the most recent remodel, the couple hosted an open house for 160 people, inviting friends, neighbors and all the people who worked on the house, opening every square inch of the home for their friends to enjoy. They love having big parties, “but we also like having smaller dinner parties, and if we can, we like to sit outside in the outdoor kitchen,” Telfair said. “Tod loves to cook, so he likes to come up with different menus and try it out on people. The house allows us flexibility for how we want to entertain, and we love to entertain. We can do small parties, we can do big parties, so the house just fits us.”

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“The house was kind of the same thing as our art,” Yeslow said. “If you look at the house from the outside, it’s not very impressive architecture. It’s a simple Folk Victorian built in 1895 for somebody’s daughter, but we tried to preserve it, and we gave it a different kind of personality on the inside and used it to display our art. It lets us live our lives the way we enjoy — with friends, food, family and music.”


The couple also uses the house for fundraisers, including events for TheatreSquared, the symphony and political campaigns. Their latest fundraiser will be the 18th annual Washington Elementary Tour of Homes on May 4. Their Willow Avenue home will be featured on the self-guided tour of eight homes in the historic neighborhood around the school. Proceeds benefit the children, teachers and staff at Washington Elementary.


Enjoying the company of old and new friends, Yeslow and Telfair love to share their home.

Home Pros Used: 


Appliances: Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove 


Architects: David W. McKee Architect, PLLC; Casa Bianca Design


Contractor/Cabinets: Stronghold


Countertops: New Century Countertops


Décor/Furnishings: Lacuna


Doors: Board Bros. Design; Jason Palmer; White River Hardwoods 


Electronics/Electrician/Alarm System: Willtech Enterprises; John Sage; Sharp’s Lock & Alarm


Fixtures: Stronghold; Ashley Norton Hardware; Waterworks Studio; Duravit; Kohler; RH; Signature Hardware


Garage Doors: Royal Overhead Door


Granite/Marble/Tile: Walker Zanger; Datile


Interior Designer: James McInroe Inc.


Landscaping/Lawn Care: Worth Design LLC; Comprehensive Botanical Services


Painting/Plaster: Classic Interior Finishes


Plumbing/Fixtures: Liberty Plumbing


Pool/Pool Service: Indian Summer Pool Co.


Windows: Pella; LaCantina


Window Coverings: C & D Interiors


Additional Vendors: Art consultant Bo Buelow; Fireplace by Top Hat Chimney & Roofing, Chesneys USA, Stronghold, New Century Countertops; Meus Floral; Front porch wrought iron railing by Eugene Sargent; Listening lounge audio system by The Sound Organisation; Shelving systems by Vitsœ; Standing seam metal roofing/copper gutter/copper custom work by Home Shield Roof Systems

18th Annual Washington Elementary Tour of Homes


Washington Elementary Parent Teacher Organization will host its Tour of Homes on May 4 from noon to 5 p.m. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online at or in person at French Metro Antiques in Fayetteville.


Tour includes:

●  400 N. Washington Ave.

●  424 N. Willow Ave.

●  327 E. Maple St.

●  408 E. Lafayette St.

●  713 B E. Lafayette St.

●  59 E. Prospect St.

●  1101 N. Woolsey Ave.

●  425 N. Highland Ave. – Washington Elementary

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