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The Momentary Announces 2022 Visual Arts Exhibition Lineup

A person in a black dress stands on a desert vista pointing to the landscape against clouds and dusty mountains

Having just celebrated its second birthday on 2.22.22, the Momentary looks ahead and unveils the full year’s exhibition schedule for 2022. The contemporary art space’s year-three visual arts lineup will include two new indoor-outdoor-spanning exhibitions this spring and summer, Esteban Cabeza de Baca: Let Earth Breathe and a group exhibition, A Divided Landscape, plus two solo exhibitions later this fall, Yvette Mayorga: What a Time to be and Firelei Báez. The exhibitions will all be free and open to the public.

“The Momentary’s exhibitions this year will push the physical and conceptual boundaries of how art can be integrated into our campus, community, and everyday lives. For example, our spring exhibitions will have a presence both inside and outside the galleries, inviting visitors to witness the collaboration between art and nature through a series of new outdoor sculptures,” says Kaitlin Garcia-Maestas, associate curator of visual arts at the Momentary.

Speaking to the common threads of the exhibitions and the institution’s ongoing efforts, Garcia-Maestas adds, “The Momentary will continue our commitment to creating a platform for new voices and expanded histories that can prompt important conversations around inclusion, belonging, and resistance.”

High-resolution images for media use can be found in the press kit here.


2022 Exhibition Lineup


Esteban Cabeza de Baca: Let Earth Breathe

April 23 – September 25, 2022

In his solo exhibition Let Earth Breathe, Esteban Cabeza de Baca interrogates the American landscape tradition by deconstructing its linear, colonial narratives with original works of painting, sculpture, and outdoor, site-specific installations conceived as collaborations with nature. Utilizing indoor and outdoor spaces at the Momentary, Cabeza de Baca explores our relationship with the environment, the present climate crisis, and our own national history.

During the exhibition, ceramic workshops will be held within the gallery to make vessels for a seed bank of vegetables, medicinal plants, and pollinator plant species. Seed packets will be available and free for the public to pick up 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: Let Earth Breathe is a solo exhibition that will be on view in the Lobby Gallery and outdoor spaces.

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.


A Divided Landscape

May 14 – September 25, 2022

From the founding of the United States to the present day, artists have employed mythic imagery — towering mountains, placid rivers, and sunlit plains — to illustrate the vast expanses and striking scenery of the American West. In the nineteenth century, painters and sculptors presented the frontier region as a new Eden: a blank canvas largely devoid of inhabitants and unspoiled by encroaching industrialization. But these romantic, mythologized, canonized visions have contributed to the erasure of Native peoples and the realities of settler colonialism. European American artists painted a version of the world they wanted others to see. What has been left out – the footprints, fences, military trenches, deeds, handshakes, broken treaties, and blood – tells a darker, more accurate story.

In A Divided Landscape, seven contemporary artists confront the historical and cultural narratives of the American West. Through paintings, drawings, sculpture, and mixed-media installations, this sweeping exhibition reclaims space throughout the Momentary galleries and outdoor spaces. Themes encompass ideas of wilderness and indigeneity, interactions between humans and animals, and humans’ conquest of nature.

A Divided Landscape includes original work from Matthew Barney, Andrea Carlson, Nicholas Galanin, Brian Jungen, Lucy Raven, Xaviera Simmons, and Kara Walker, as well as historical drawings and paintings from the collection at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art by Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait, George Catlin, Jasper Francis Cropsey, and others that speak to the preservation of the dominant frontier narrative. Together, the artists in this exhibition will examine landscape paintings that promoted westward expansion and then present a post-colonial version of those landscapes to share the full story of the American West.

A Divided Landscape is a group exhibition that will be on view in three galleries and outdoor spaces on the grounds presently occupied by the Momentary.

A Divided Landscape is organized by the Momentary and curated by Neville Wakefield and Kaitlin Garcia-Maestas, associate curator, with Taylor Jasper, curatorial associate.

A Divided Landscape is sponsored by Deborah Wright.


Yvette Mayorga: What a Time to be

October 29, 2022 – March 12, 2023

In her solo exhibition What a Time to be, multidisciplinary artist Yvette Mayorga combines images of family, found objects, ‘90s nostalgia, moments of Midwest life, and her signature pink and frosted style to interrogate the art historical canon and the meaning of belonging. From elaborate collage portraits of her family members posed to resemble seventeenth-century Rococo paintings to sculptures that weave together symbols of family and memory to a reimagined installation of her bedroom from the ‘90s, Mayorga pushes beyond her comfort zone in her first solo museum presentation to introduce new, original works that interrupt the landscape of art history. The exhibition’s title speaks to the many lives lived and the privileges and upheavals that have come with surviving in our contemporary life.

Yvette Mayorga: What a Time to be is a solo exhibition that will be on view in two galleries.

Yvette Mayorga: What a Time to be is organized by the Momentary and curated by Kaitlin Garcia-Maestas, associate curator.


Firelei Báez

November 19, 2022 – March 26, 2023

In her largest sculptural installation to date, Firelei Báez invites visitors to traverse passageways and travel through time and space, engaging with streams of intervention and interconnectedness. In its second iteration, Báez’s sculpture revisits the centuries-long exchange of ideas and influence between Europe, the African continent, and the Americas, reclaiming and revisiting the Caribbean’s place in the story of Western world history through a presentation that the New York Times calls “history meets flamboyant fantasy.”

To breathe full and free: a declaration, a re-visioning, a correction (19º36’16.9”N 72º13’07.0’’W, 42º21’48.762’’N 71º1’59.628’’W, 36° 22′ 0.1848” N94° 12′ 8.64” W) reimagines the archeological ruins of the Sans-Souci Palace in Haiti, as if it were emerging from the Atlantic Ocean through the Momentary’s galleries. The longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates signify where the ruins are located, the location of ICA Watershed in Boston (where this work was first presented), and the location of the Momentary. The installation also features an immersive mural and hanging tarps that evoke both being underwater and the starry night sky. The monumental structure’s intricately painted architectural surfaces include symbols of healing and resistance, patterning drawn from West African indigo printing traditions (later used in the American South), and sea growths native to Caribbean waters, reconsidering the complex history of interaction between each of these sites.

Firelei Báez is a solo exhibition that will be on view in two galleries and the interior Tower space.

Firelei Báez is organized by Eva Respini, the Barbara Lee Chief Curator, ICA/Boston. It was commissioned by ICA/Boston and first presented at the ICA Watershed. Organized at the Momentary by Kaitlin Garcia-Maestas, associate curator.


See current and upcoming exhibitions and projects here.


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. The Momentary’s Founding Funders are Walton Family Foundation, Walmart, RØDE Microphones, The Coca-Cola Company, Tyson Family Foundation, and Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation.