The City announces the final Art in the Heart project by late artist Lara Nguyen

Press release from City of Asheville:

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:

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 and 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.

To learn more about all the projects and artists who participated in this temporary public art program, visit

About Community Bulletin
Mountain Xpress posts selected news and information of local interest as a public service for our readers. To submit press releases and other community material for possible publication, email

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.