Athena recently had the opportunity to make a new work for the Crystal Bridges Museum’s traveling exhibition “Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950s to Now, ” on display between October 05, 2018 – January 07, 2019.
For Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950s to Now, artist Athena LaTocha visited Northwest Arkansas and Pea Ridge National Military Park. The result of this visit is a work specific to the region, both the lush topography of the Ozarks as well as what the land has seen over time.
The entire cultural history of the land impacts LaTocha’s work– in this case, the Trail of Tears and the Civil War. During her visit, certain elements of the Arkansas landscape lingered: burnt trees, the smell of wet earth, sun on the rocks, and the erosion and striation of rock features. LaTocha connected the burnt wood and bluff overhangs with the experience of war and trauma in the land’s past.