Welcome to the next in our ongoing series of blog posts featuring Crystal Bridges Members! (See the previous posts here.) Bentonville resident Mike Abb has been an artinfusion ambassador since January, 2014. Here, Mike shares with us some of his reasons for joining the group and his thoughts about the effect Crystal Bridges has had on his community.
How frequently do you visit Crystal Bridges? I visit at least four times a month.
What made you decide to become a Member of Crystal Bridges? It’s a no brainer—world class art, events, and people. Enough said.
What benefit of Membership do you appreciate the most and why? I appreciate having the ability to have first crack at new exhibitions and free entry to certain events. Plus, you get to feel like you are helping contribute to the ongoing programming of the community’s cultural shift.
Are there particular artworks or galleries that are special to you? Which ones and why? I really enjoyed the Moshe Safdie exhibition—to deep dive into his architectural brilliance combined with the insanely detailed models of his projects was just a mind-altering experience.
Why do you feel art is important—for individuals, families, communities? Art is the expression of our brains—the seen and unseen—if you don’t value that in your life, family, or community, I don’t know what you do value.
Do you have a particular story or memory you would like to share about your experience at Crystal Bridges? The opening of State of the Art watching musician Kawehi perform on Walker Landing. She was just the perfect mix of experimental music to partner with the fantastic art that was being showcased that night. It was just magical in every sense of the word.
If you could have lunch with any artist from the Crystal Bridges collection, who would it be, and why? Too many to list—how about I just throw an amazing dinner party and I can sit back and listen to all the artists talk to each other.
What song would be on your Crystal Bridges play list? Bob Dylan “When I Paint my Masterpiece”
How has Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art impacted you? It hasn’t just impacted me, it’s impacted the entire region, and that region is what impacts me on the daily. The extreme momentum an institution and collection like Crystal Bridges has created has influenced everything we see in Bentonville. We see it in the restaurants, the new businesses, the talented people moving here to work, the educational system, and its newfound opportunity to influence the future leaders of the community. You just can’t escape the positive light it has shown on the city and state.