Arkansas Soul

Arkansas Got Soul

The Art Scene: Bentonville

 
BENTONVILLE MURAL.jpg

BY ASHIA SHELTON

“Bentonville is sophisticated, fun, and innovative.- Kalene Griffith, President and CEO of Visit Bentonville

At Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, Arkansas, the architectural steel structure immediately catches the attention of a person walking by. The elevator leads to the first floor where  the gallery resides. As of June 2019 the art museum holds renowned artists such as Kerry James Marshall, Kara Walker, and Alfredo Ramos Martínez.


Kerry James Marshall

“Our Town” , Acrylic on Canvas, Kerry James Marshall, 1995, Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas

“Our Town”, Acrylic on Canvas, Kerry James Marshall, 1995, Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas

Kerry James Marshall’s “Our Town” emmerses the walls from left to right at Crystal Bridges. This piece was created in 1995 with acrylic and collage on canvas; “Our Town” stretches eight feet high and eleven feet long. In this piece Marshall depicts black children along a street road who are surrounded by greenery and houses. He establishes a strong sense of identity of black people, this is what he calls “Blackness in its extreme.” Also, he challenges the viewer to see in more than one perspective. From one perspective the establishment of black life and black ownership can be seen. When digging deeper, an element of suppression scratches the surface, giving a view of the black experience.

 
Niketa Reed