There is an understanding that is reached with the material Smith used to create this art work considering how she handled them in order facilitates viewer’s thought processes.
Smith painted The Court House Steps in reaction to the conservation emergency created when a landlord bulldozed a boulder marked with petroglyphs from its escarpment site (Smith and Kastner 63). He delivered the culturally significant stone to the courthouse to object legal arbitrations barring him from constructing a building on his land. The jagged angles on Smith’s work might be kiva steps bulging into high-rise buildings that grow and fall. Transversely, a series of orbs converges in a solar eclipse across the center.
Smith and Kastner assert that, The Court House Steps is the most traumatic of all her paintings (87)” because “it documents a world spinning out of control” (87). In this painting, Smith is seen to be lifting imagery from the natural world, and then changing it into modernism via abstraction. Her inhabited landscapes show the infinite human conflict over disputed lands.
Her painting fuses modernist color and techniques with her unique visual vocabulary of crashing lines in a stirred expression of the human spirit. The work establishes Smith’s artistic voice, grounding it in modern abstraction, where she extends her native tradition through images of plants, animals and humans to bring the message home. The idea that smith was communicating was that the petroglyphs were subjected to individual coming in and shooting in that area – getting rid of the petroglyphs from the lava escarpment.
The Court House Steps is about uniting the traditional values in a very modern and fast changing world. In this painting smith informs us that world is complex and things will be changing very rapidly so we must prepare for the change and sometimes predict it. And we must work in a mixed way with some new things or ideally add in