From October 22 – November 27, 2023, the final Art in the Heart project, Letters to my Children, will be on display in the median of Pack Square Plaza.
Art in the Heart was part of the engagement efforts surrounding the Pack Square Plaza Visioning and Improvements Project which looked at ways to make the Plaza a place that reflects Asheville’s diverse community and history. The final report and recommendations were adopted by City Council on September 26, 2023.
Project details as follows:
Letters to my Children
Digital prints on display Sunday, October 22 until Sunday, November 27, 2023
Chalkboard podium with questions on display until November 15, 2023
Pack Square Plaza, the Median
Artist Lara Nguyen (installed by Todd Frahm)
- About the Project: Strong Arms & Keep Going are two, 5’x7′ digital prints on Di-Bond by Lara Nguyen, collectively called Letters to My Children. Questions on the nearby chalkboard podium welcome the community to engage and respond to the artwork and its message. Lara was diagnosed with uterine leiomyosarcoma in July 2018 when her kids, Atticus and Moon, were 7 & 9 years old. With her stage 4 cancer diagnosis she found herself up at all hours worrying about dying before her kids were grown. When she couldn’t sleep, she wrote letters to them, recording their favorite recipes and her fondest memories of them. Making and sharing this work allowed her family to cry and grieve together and opened up space to truly be honest and present for one another. In opening up these conversations to a wider audience, it was Lara’s hope to ease any loads the viewers might be carrying on their own personal journeys. Lara’s mission as an artist, teacher and mother was to encourage others to feel more and hurt less. Art in all its forms, at its best, is used to connect people through their differences and sometimes through space and time. That is the power of art. Lara died due to complications of her diagnosis earlier this year.
Opportunities for members of the media to speak with Lara’s partner, Todd Frahm, or with project staff will be provided by the City. Details to come in further media advisories.
To learn more about all the projects and artists who participated in this temporary public art program, visit ashevillenc.gov/artintheheart.