“For me, the work Astonishment of perception is about public engagement and the dialogue of justice. We must pay tribute to and honor the historical and enduring influence of the vibrant, diverse, and contemporary cultures of Indigenous peoples and celebrate how they continue to bring vibrancy to our communities.
“Yatika Starr Fields’s mural is made in a public space and is a powerful expression of how the scales of justice have weighed differently on communities over time. It's an important reminder that we need to continue interrogating the meaning and application of justice.”
About the Contributor and Organization
Rod Bigelow, a member of the Commission on the Arts, is Executive Director and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
The mission of Crystal Bridges is to welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature. As Crystal Bridges and the Momentary, we recognize our role as settlers and guests in the Northwest Arkansas region. We acknowledge the Caddo, Quapaw, and Osage as well as the many Indigenous caretakers of this land and water. Read our full Indigenous Peoples Acknowledgement here.
About the Artist
Yatika Starr Fields is a painter and muralist. His work is inspired by graffiti aesthetics, landscape painting, and the energy of urban life. He seeks to influence his viewers to rethink and reshape their relationships with the world around them. Learn more about Fields here.
The video features Yatika Starr Fields speaking about the Astonishment of perception (2018), the mural in downtown Bentonville that he created for the exhibition Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950s to Now, organized by Crystal Bridges. Learn more here.
Commission on the Arts
The Commission - drawing on the expertise of its members who are artists, scholars, activists, and leaders, as well as the input of people across the country who participated in listening sessions - dedicated itself to recognizing and supporting the essential role of the arts and artists in American life.