Downtown Little Rock partnership unveils new public art installation: ‘The Masked Project’ by Ashley Murphy

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News release) – The Downtown Little Rock Partnership (DLRP) unveiled a temporary public art installation Thursday, a collection of photos known as “The Masked Project” by Ashley Murphy.

Fifteen photos from the collection (selected by Murphy) are displayed on the side of Rock Town
Distillery’s building and in Baker’s Alley, which is located behind the Arkansas Repertory Theatre.

“The Masked Project showcases the bond we now all share having gone through this unprecedented
experience, and it’s a unique way to document these times,” Gabe Holmstrom, Executive Director of the Downtown Little Rock Partnership, said. “This is a temporary installation that will deteriorate in certain weather, so we encourage people to go see it while it lasts.”

Murphy said The Masked Project began as a way to interact with people during quarantine. She said it quickly turned into something larger.

“I have always been fascinated with the eyes. With more and more people covering their faces, I see this as an opportunity to focus on the eyes and on each individual person,” Murphy said. She added,

“This is not a series promoting whether or not these are safe coverings. This is not a series promoting going out in public.”

For this project, Murphy traveled around Little Rock, met with people from a safe distance, and
photographed them wearing masks. She photographed 100 people for the project, each in their own
unique face covering. “When DLRP learned of The Masked Project in early April, our Public Spaces Committee began brainstorming ways to publicize the project,” Holmstrom said. “This public art display is the result.”

The Masked Project will be published this fall as a coffee table book by Etalia Press. Click here to
purchase the book.

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