Esteban Cabeza de Baca exhibition at The Momentary

As summer sweeps in, the Momentary offers visitors the opportunity to experience art in all of the galleries as well as outdoor spaces on the campus with three exhibitions on view through September 25, 2022: A Divided Landscape – an original group exhibition featuring work from seven contemporary artists alongside a selection of historic works from Crystal Bridges – and solo exhibitions Esteban Cabeza de Baca: Let Earth Breathe and Rashawn Griffin: we no longer recognize the backs of our hands. In a season when many will be traveling to explore new destinations, camping and hiking, or playing tourist in their own city, works on view at the Momentary provide new ways of seeing art and a range of perspectives on human interaction with the land and nature.

All three exhibitions have free admission and are presented in both English and Spanish.

Esteban Cabeza de Baca: Let Earth Breathe

In his solo exhibition Let Earth Breathe, Esteban Cabeza de Baca questions the linear, colonial narratives of traditional American landscape art with original works of painting, sculpture, and outdoor, site-specific installations conceived as collaborations with nature. A bronze sculpture planted with milkweed, echinacea, and strawberries was installed in late April and is already supporting insect visitors including native bees and monarch butterfly larvae. 

Visitors to the Momentary will encounter an indoor gallery of Cabeza de Baca’s large-scale, vibrant works surrounding a community-style sitting space designed by the artist, and can venture outdoors to be immersed in his works incorporating living native flora. Through these works of art, Cabeza de Baca explores our relationship with the environment, the present climate crisis, and our own national history.

Cabeza de Baca will teach a pottery workshop in the gallery at the Momentary on Wednesday, June 15 at 6 p.m. where participants can make vessels to hold seeds for vegetables, medicinal plants, and pollinator-supporting species. Seed packets are available and free for the public to pick up from an in-gallery seed library throughout the run of the exhibition.

As the artist says, “Native plant-based models of care can relinquish our dependence from the industrial models of subsistence.”

Esteban Cabeza de Baca (b. 1985, San Ysidro, CA) employs a broad range of painterly techniques, entwining layers of graffiti, landscape, and pre-Columbian pictographs in ways confounding the Cartesian single-point perspective. He received a BFA from Cooper Union, School of the Arts and an MFA from Columbia University. He currently lives and works in Queens, NY. He is represented by Garth Greenan Gallery.

Esteban Cabeza de Baca: Let Earth Breathe is organized by the Momentary and curated by Kaitlin Garcia-Maestas, associate curator, with Taylor Jasper, curatorial associate.

Esteban Cabeza de Baca: Let Earth Breathe is on view in the Lobby Gallery and adjacent outdoor spaces at the Momentary.

Esteban Cabeza de Baca, Besar La Tierra, 2021, acrylic on canvas. Courtesy the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York.
Esteban Cabeza de Baca, Besar La Tierra, 2021, acrylic on canvas. Courtesy the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York.


The galleries at the Momentary will be open Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Thursday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (closed Monday).

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About the Momentary

Opened in February of 2020, the Momentary is a contemporary art space in downtown Bentonville, Arkansas, for visual, performing, and culinary arts. The mission of the Momentary is to champion contemporary art’s role in everyday life and explore the unfolding story of contemporary American arts in an international context by actively commissioning and exhibiting outstanding works that explore new ideas and inspire action. The Momentary was founded by the Walton family, based on the vision of Tom, Olivia, and Steuart Walton. The Walton Family Foundation is supporting this project as a way to enhance the quality of life in Northwest Arkansas.

The Momentary is a satellite to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, founded by Alice Walton. The Momentary welcomes all with free general admission. Additional offerings include an artist-in-residence program, culinary experiences including an Onyx Coffee Lab and the sky-high Tower Bar, indoor and outdoor gathering spaces, an outdoor festival space, and a gift store. For more information, visit The Momentary is located at 507 SE E Street, Bentonville, Arkansas 72712.

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