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Crystal Bridges’ April Programming: Architecture Speaker Series, Film and Discussion, and Art Night Out

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art invites visitors to experience interactive workshops, outdoor tours, the continuation of the Architecture Speaker Series,  and the much-acclaimed Van Gogh to Rothko: Masterworks from the Albright Knox Art Gallery. In addition, a new exhibition, Fish Stories: Early Images of American Game Fish will be on view April 4-September 21, 2015.


The explosive 1950s and 60s art movements come to life on April 25 at Art Night Out: These Times Are a’Changing. This popular evening event includes a vintage liquid light show, Beat poetry in the galleries, Rothko meditations, and the opportunity to explore the Van Gogh to Rothko exhibition.


In anticipation of the Bentonville Film Festival in May, Crystal Bridges offers film-lovers Film and Discussion events include Okie Noodling with filmmaker Bradley Beasley on April 10, a lecture with award-winning science author and PBS  host Neil Shubin on April 17, and Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden on April 24. Submissions open for Crystal Bridges’ Second Annual Short Film Festival on April 1 and will remain open through July 1.


NEW drop-in outdoor tours begin in April. No registration is required.

Spring Showcase Trail Experience (April 1 – May 15, 2015)

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 11:30 am

Join our Trail Guides for a seasonal experience to discover beautiful spring blooms, including those of our spectacular dogwoods. This experience requires walking on soft-surface natural trails. Sponsored by The Coleman Company. The walk to the Dogwood Trail includes many steep stairs. Please wear appropriate footgear. Length: 1 mile. Meet on Walker Landing.

Art Trail Experience (NEW) (Begins April 3)

Friday, 4 pm

Join a Trail Guide to learn about the sculptures, waterways, and native plants found along Crystal Bridges’ Art Trail. Sponsored by The Coleman Company. The tour follows a paved trail, but includes a steep incline. Please wear appropriate footgear. Meet in the south lobby.


A full listing of April programs is below. Information and registration are also available on Crystal Bridges’ calendar of events: https://crystalbridges.org/events/. Sign up for Crystal Bridges email updates at ENewsletter.

Wednesday, April 1

Opening Submissions » Short Film Festival

Crystal Bridges’ Second Annual Short Film Festival will include 10 shorts in the categories of Drama, Documentary, Animation, and Experimental.  The deadline for submission is July 1; please visit our website for submission information coming soon. Winners in each category will be screened at the Short Film Festival on Friday, August 19, 2015.Free with online submission.


Wednesday, April 1, 8, and 15, 1 to 2:15 pm

Preschool Art Class » Patterns

(For ages 3 to 5 with an adult.) Discover patterns used by artists represented in the temporary exhibition Van Gogh to Rothko and use them to try out new methods of art making. Parents or caregivers participate with their preschoolers in gallery conversations and art-making activities each week. Session includes three consecutive Wednesday classes. All materials are provided.

$30 ($24 for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.


Wednesday, April 1, 1 to 3 pm

Homeschool Tour and Art Making

Join fellow homeschool families for an afternoon of art and exploration at the museum.  The program will include guided tours of the collection and a curriculum-based art-making activity connected to the works viewed in the galleries. Free with online registration.


Wednesday, April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, and May 6, 6 to 8:30 pm

Studio Studies Series » Introduction to Figure Painting in Acrylic

Learn how to successfully paint a clothed figure in its surrounding environment over this six-week course with our new art instructor, Jessica Westhafer.  Working from direct observation, we will focus on breaking down the figure into simple forms and developing color and space. All materials are provided. $200/6 classes ($160 for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.


Wednesday, April 1, 7 to 8:30 pm

Architecture Speaker Series » Sarah Susanka on the Not So Big House

The Not So Big House  book series by Sarah Susanka brings to light a new way of thinking about what makes a place feel like home— characteristics many people desire in their homes and their lives, but haven’t known how to verbalize. How big is Not So Big? Not So Big doesn’t necessarily mean small. It means not as big as you thought you needed, but designed and built to perfectly suit the way you live. $10 (Free for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.


Thursday, April 2, 5 to 6 pm

Gallery Talk with authors of Gather at the Table on Racial Equality from the Slavery to Today

Join in a gallery conversation with authors Sharon Morgan and Tom DeWolf about their poignant book Gather at the Table that looks at the history and current context of race relations in the United States.  Morgan’s ancestors were slaves and DeWolf’s ancestors were the largest slave owners in the US.  The two of them have courageously explored how whites and blacks view each other.

In considering our past with present issues, this discussion takes part in the museum’s Nineteenth-Century Art Gallery against the backdrop of artwork depicting the Civil War and slavery. The authors encourage you to explore our country’s issues of racial equity and justice through a path toward healing and reconciliation. Special thanks to the Walmart Global Diversity Office. Free with online registration.


Friday, April 3, noon to 6 pm

and Saturday, April 4, 10 am to 6 pm

Featured Artisan » Rae Ann Bayless

For over 20 years, Rae Ann Bayless has dedicated her craft to the idea of jewelry as wearable art. Approaching jewelry making with the eye of a painter, Bayless adds the tactile sensibilities of a sculptor, combining rich colors and textures— with just a touch of the exotic. In this way, each piece becomes an expression of personal adornment, a signature of the wearer. Bayless designs jewelry for the fanciers of both the contemporary and the classic. Rae Ann’s full collection will be on display and available for purchase during this event.  Free, no registration required.


Friday, April 3, 8 to 10 pm Salsa Night

Come out and enjoy the Great Hall’s spectacular dance floor with a night of Salsa dancing to Latin beats by DJ Midnite. Special thanks to the Hispanic Latino Associate Resource Group. Free, register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.


Saturday, April 4, 1 to 2 pm

Art Talk » Action and Reaction Join in a dynamic conversation exploring artists’ reactions to their world and their contemporaries, particularly to the effects of war and certain life events.  The talk is presented by Northwest Arkansas Community College art professors Carol Cooper and Wendy Staten who will explore such artists as Amedeo Modigliani, Juan Gris, Joan Miró, Marc Chagall, Max Ernst, and Arthur Dove. Free, no registration required. Exhibition admission is complimentary for guests attending.


Saturday, April 4, 1 to 3 pm

Street Performers Meet and Greet!

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the life and work of street performers from the International Street Faire put on by Downtown Bentonville Inc. at this free, drop-in program.  Enjoy a live performance, and stick around afterwards to meet the artists, learn how they go about their craft, and get insider tips on performing. Free, no registration required.


Saturday, April 4, 7 to 10 pm

Teen Night

Save the date for an amazing evening planned just for area high school students, organized by the museum’s Teen Council. We’ll have live music, dancing, art, and lots of surprises as we celebrate the exhibition Van Gogh to Rothko. Free, no registration required.


Monday, April 6 and April 20, 1 to 3 pm

Figure Drawing

Join us on the first and third Mondays of each month to draw from a clothed model. Whether you’ve always had a love for figure drawing or are trying it for the first time, you’ll enjoy an afternoon drawing with others at the museum. A variety of drawing materials will be provided, and model poses will include both shorter warm-up poses, and longer poses. All materials are provided. $10 (Free for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.


Monday, April 6, 6 to 7 pm

Yoga and Art Yoga takes over the Great Hall, a peaceful setting with views of the museum’s ponds, forest, and architecture. Yoga Story’s Cindee Joslin leads this uplifting group experience uniting the power of art with the beauty of the nature. Participants should bring their own yoga mat and dress appropriately. $5 (Free for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.

The yoga series will continue in the Great Hall the first Monday of each month from April through October.


Wednesday, April 8 and April 22, 6:30 to 8:30 pm

Figure Drawing

Join us on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month to draw from a clothed model. Whether you’ve always had a love for figure drawing or are trying it for the first time, you’ll enjoy an evening drawing with others at the Museum. A variety of drawing materials will be provided, and model poses will include both shorter warm-up poses, and longer poses. $10 (Free for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.


Wednesday, April 8, 15, and 22, 7 to 8:30 pm

Intro to Modern Art with Curator Mindy Besaw

Expand your appreciation of modern art with this overview of the temporary exhibition Van Gogh to Rothko with Curator Mindy Besaw.  In this three-part series, Besaw will present a survey of the exhibition, offering insights on the birth of the modern art movement.  The series includes lecture and gallery discussion, as well as experiences of the artists’ voices through short readings. $30 ($24 for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.


Thursday, April 9, 11:30 am to 2 pm

Preschool Playdate » R is for Rothko

This Preschool Playdate features a live performance, art projects, and creative play inspired by the exhibition Van Gogh to Rothko. Activities are geared for children ages 2 to 5 with an adult, and begin with a live performance in the Great Hall at 11:30 a.m. Sponsored by The Hershey Company.  Free, no registration required.


Friday, April 10, 17, and 24, 2 to 3:30 pm Homeschool Friday Fun » What is Art?  

(For ages 5-8 and 9-12) In this class series, we’ll take on the age-old question “What is art?”  Each week, we’ll look at a different artistic movement in the galleries and discuss why a work may or may not be art. Then, we’ll return to the studios and create our own artwork as a response! $45/3 classes ($36 for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.


Friday, April 10, 6 to 7 pm

TEN » Meet Filmmaker Bradley Beesley

Calling all teens interested in films and filmmaking!  Meet Austin-based filmmaker Bradley Beesley, whose work includes an intimate documentary of the band The Flaming Lips.  Hear behind-the-scenes stories from the indie film community and the world of alternative rock! Free, no registration required.


Friday, April 10, 6:30 to 8 pm

Family Workshop » Surrealist Puppets

Make your own Surrealist-inspired puppets in this family workshop.  Repurpose wool sweaters into unique puppets using shapes and colors inspired by Surrealist works in the exhibition Van Gogh to Rothko.  All materials are provided. $10 (Free for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.


Friday, April 10, 7:30 to 9 pm

Film and Discussion » Okie Noodling with Filmmaker Bradley Beesley

Kick off the exhibition Fish Stories: Early Images of American Game Fish with a screening of this lively documentary by renowned filmmaker Bradley Beesley, who will join us for a post-screening discussion.  The film features interviews with hardcore handfishing veterans, as well as rousing footage of real noodlers in action.  Set against an original musical score by rock band The Flaming Lips, Okie Noodling offers an anecdotal and often hilarious look at a most unusual piece of Midwest American culture.  Okie Noodling premiered to sold-out crowds at the 2001 South by Southwest Film Festival, winning the Audience Choice Award and First Runner Up for Best Documentary. The film also won Best Documentary at the 2001 Great Plains Film Festival. Sponsored by Demara Titzer and Legacy Condominiums. Free, register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.


Saturday, April 11, 9 am to 1 pm

Saturday Session for Teachers » Poetry

Discover some exciting ways in which poetry and art can be used together in the classroom to engage students. Four hours of Professional Development credit available. $10, register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.


Saturday, April 11, 9 to 10:30 am

Discover the Grounds » Woodland Wildflowers for the Home Garden

Learn how to integrate woodland wildflowers in your garden with this lecture and tour with Crystal Bridges Horticulturalist Cody George. Sponsored by The Coleman Company. Free with online registration, register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.


Monday, April 13, 11 am to 12:30 pm

Journaling Group » Beat Poets

Participate in our inspiring, free Journaling Group to find inspiration from Beat Poets who surrounded the Abstract Expressionist movement of the 1950s. This invigorating series focuses on the Van Gogh to Rothko exhibition. The journaling sessions include an opening discussion on writing techniques, followed by writing time in the galleries and reading reviews. Free with online registration, register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.


Wednesday, April 15, 1:30 to 2:30 pm

Art Book Club » Lee Krasner: A Biography, by Gail Levin

A renowned Abstract Expressionist painter, Lee Krasner is probably best known as the wife of Jackson Pollock. Join Library Director Catherine Petersen in a discussion of the mid-twentieth-century art world in New York City through the amazing journey of this determined and talented artist. Free with online registration, register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.


Wednesday, April 15, 6 to 7 pm WOW » The Artisanal Brewer Please join Crystal Bridges Culinary Director Case Dighero along with regional craft brewers as they simultaneously imbibe and discuss the artistic virtues of American beer and cuisine. Open to guests ages 21 and above. Sponsored by Premier Dermatology and Reidel, The Wine Glass Company. $30 ($24 for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335. Few spots remaining.


Wednesday, April 15, 6 to 7 pm

Boundless Book Club » A Short History of a Small Place, by T. R. Pearson

“T. R. Pearson’s charming, undauntable first novel is about human decency: the unrecognized first variety that cures insomnia and occasionally ensures a ticket to heaven…There’s an archaic, heartfelt element to A Short History—disarmingly kind and unabashedly funny—that rings of the essence of the Southern tradition of literature…But then the people of the town don’t die, they ‘succumb’; they have ‘relations’ instead of sex, and they ‘hold silent counsel’ when a less-complicated soul would just sit and think a spell. It is the charming deference to language—to regional homilies and, consequently, to truth—that gives the novel its freedom and compassion: the sense of lying on a hot porch in the afternoon and listening to someone special and very, very wise. There are less levelheaded educations to be had in the world than sitting captive at this father’s knee.” (Boston Globe review) Free with online registration, register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.


Friday, April 17, 6 to 6:30 pm

Member Meet and Greet with PBS TV host and science writer Neil Shubin

Crystal Bridges Members are invited to a Meet and Greet with PBS TV host and science writer Neil Shubin in the Great Hall prior to the public lecture at 7 p.m. Free with registration online or by calling the Member Priority Line 479.418.5728. Separate registration is required for the lecture.


Friday, April 17, 7 to 8 pm

Keynote Lecture » Neil Shubin on Humans and Creatures

Shubin is the popular science author of two books: The Universe Within: The Deep History of the Human Body (2013) and the best-selling Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body (2008).  Your Inner Fish was named Best Book of the Year by the National Academy of Sciences, and is now a popular TV show on PBS with Shubin acts as host. Shubin conducted fieldwork in Greenland, China, Canada, and much of North America and Africa, and has discovered some of the earliest mammals, crocodiles, dinosaurs, frogs, and salamanders in the fossil record.  One of his most significant discoveries, the 375-million-year-old Tiktaalik roseae fossil, is considered an important transitional form between fish and land animals. The 2006 announcement of the finding received worldwide media coverage and led to Shubin’s being named ABC News Person of the Week. Shubin earned his PhD in organismic and evolutionary biology at Harvard and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2011.  Shubin is the Robert Bensley Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago and associate dean for academic strategy of the university’s Biological Sciences Division. $10 ($8 for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.


Saturday, April 18, 25, and May 2, 10:30 am to noon

Young Artists Class » Draw It!

 (For ages 5 to 10) Investigate traditional and experimental methods of drawing inspired by artworks in the temporary exhibition Van Gogh to Rothko.  Each week we’ll examine a different artist in the exhibition and use his or her work to uncover a new approach to drawing.  Each class will consist of a gallery conversation and a studio project reflecting on our conversation.

$45/3 classes ($36 for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.


Sunday, April 19, noon to 5 pm

El Dia de los Ninos

Dia Del Nino – Children’s Day – is recognized worldwide.  Join us to celebrate the creativity and cultures of children in our community through music, dance, art, and fun for all ages!  Plus:  complimentary admission to the current exhibition: Van Gogh to Rothko: Masterworks from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Free, no registration required. Sponsored by Rockline Industries.


Monday, April 20, 1 to 2 pm

Art Talk » Fish Stories Exhibition Opening Talk Hear Crystal Bridges Library Director Catherine Petersen and invited guests talk about the temporary exhibition Fish Stories: Early Images of American Game Fish, and the nineteenth-century book for which the prints were created. Free, no registration required.


Wednesday, April 22, 5 to 9 pm artinfusion @ Culture Hour

Get together with artinfusion Members and friends at a special Culture Hour just for you! Artinfusion Members and friends are invited to come together on the fourth Wednesday of each month to meet and mingle during Culture Hour in Eleven. Enjoy networking, complimentary nosh, and $5 drink specials in Eleven, then stroll the galleries while they are open late. Culture Hour special pricing typically ends at 7 pm, but on these fourth Wednesdays we extend the deals for artinfusion Members (with proof of membership) until 9 pm. Bring a friend! Artinfusion is especially for Crystal Bridges Members ages 21 to 40s. Sponsored by Blue Moon Brewing Company, RopeSwing, and Arvest Bank. Free, no registration required.


Wednesday, April 22, 6 to 8 pm

Wednesday Series for Educators » True or False: Using Art as a Primary Source

Artworks are a primary source and tell us about the time in which they were created.  In this workshop teachers will learn how to use art in the context of history.  The workshop will be especially informative for Social Studies and History teachers.  Two hours of Professional Development credit available. $10, register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.


Friday, April 24, 6:30 to 9 pm

Film and Discussion with Filmmakers »  Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden

Participate in an audience discussion session with filmmakers Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller following the screening of this remarkable true-crime tale of paradise found and lost. The Galapagos Affair is a fascinating documentary that explores the mysterious life of a Berlin doctor and his mistress who attempted to start a new utopia on uninhabited Floreana Island in the Galapagos in the 1930s.  When the international press sensationalized the exploits of the Galapagos “Adam and Eve,” they inadvertently encouraged others to flock to the island—including a self-styled Swiss Family Robinson and a gun-toting Viennese Baroness and her two lovers. Clashing personalities are aggravated by the island community’s lusty free-love ethos, and when some of the islanders disappear, suspicions of murder hang in the air, leaving an unsolved mystery which remains the subject of local lore today.

To bring this extraordinary story to life, filmmakers Goldfine and Geller nimbly interweave newly unearthed home movies of these original settlers; testimonies of modern day islanders; stunning HD footage of native flora and fauna; and powerful voice performances by Cate Blanchett, Diane Kruger, Connie Nielsen, Sebastian Koch, Thomas Kretschmann, Gustaf Skarsgård, and Josh Radnor. Macabre yet inspiring, The Galapagos Affair is a gripping parable of Robinson Crusoe adventure and utopian dreams gone awry. Sponsored by Demara Titzer and Legacy Condominiums. Free with online registration.


Saturday, April 25, 1 to 2 pm

Art Talk » Meditation on Rothko

Join us in an in-depth discussion about Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko. We will talk about Rothko’s life and work, discuss the experience of looking at his mesmerizing color field paintings, and touch on the artist’s final works, which are found in the Mark Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas. Finally, meditation Instructor Erica Rockwell will guide us through a meditation experience with Rothko’s painting Orange and Yellow, on view in the Van Gogh to Rothko exhibition. Free, no registration required.


Saturday, April 25, 1 to 4 pm

Drop-In Art Making » Starbursts!

Create starbursts on fabric with colors inspired by Abstract Expressionism. Learn how to use everyday materials to make your own projects at home. All materials will be provided. Free, no registration required.


Saturday, April 25, 8 to 11 pm

Art Night Out » These Times are a’Changing

Art Night Out: These Times are a’Changing relives the explosive art movements of the 1950s and ‘60s which played a major role in defining the era.  Explore the Van Gogh to Rothko exhibition and hear spoken-word presentations by NWACC poet students on the work of Beat writers like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsburg. Take a turn through the newly installed Twentieth-Century Gallery accompanied by songs of the times performed by Voxana. Immerse yourself in a re-enactment of the experimental performance art pieces of John Cage and the Fluxus group in the 1960s by local duo Er-Gene Kahng and Ryan Cockerham, and then groove to an outdoor Grateful Dead music experience provided by The Schwag, with a laser light show enlivening the museum’s architecture and ponds! Alongside the Schwag, make some collaborative art in the studios with a live action-painting canvas or found objects similar to Jackson Pollock or Rauschenberg—or make your own liquid light show on an old-school overhead projector. Come dressed for the times. Whatever your style is: hippie, beatnik, the Beatles, the Stones…or come as an artist from the Van Gogh to Rothko exhibition such as Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, or Frida Kahlo! Whatever your choice, come in your favorite revolutionary art couture.

Special thanks to Northwest Arkansas Community College Beat Poetry team. Sponsored by AMP Sign & Banner, Blue Moon Brewing Co., RopeSwing, and Arvest Bank. $15 ($12 for Members, free for artinfusion Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.233.


 Sunday, April 26, 1 to 4 pm

Drop-In Drawing » Drawing from Nature Drop in between 1 and 4 p.m. to hone your drawing skills in this informal drawing session. An art instructor will provide you with drawing supplies and tips on drawing elements from the environment inspired by the collection and grounds of Crystal Bridges.  Check at Guest Services for the drawing cart location. All ages are welcome and all materials are provided. Free, no registration required.


Sunday, April 26, 2 to 6 pm

International Showcase

Come hang out at the museum for a Sunday afternoon of cultural exchange. Get to know our global community living in Northwest Arkansas and try a bilingual Art Talk or listen to international musicians in the galleries.  Kicking off our International Showcase at 3 p.m. is a celebratory performance by three bands, featuring the University of Arkansas’s Global Music Fusion ensemble, Northwest Arkansas Community College’s Hmong Cultural Group, and John Brown University’s El Salvador Latin Mix.  Feel free to relax at the museum’s South Lawn to meet with international students presenting unique art-making projects, or bring your own instrument and jam at the Open Mic space on the lawn. Food trucks will be nearby. Be sure to stay for the culminating Global Fashion Show in the Great Hall.

Special thanks to the Walmart Global Diversity Teams, Northwest Arkansas Community College, John Brown University, and University of Arkansas International Students and Scholars, International Culture Team, Study Abroad, and Spring International Language Center.

Free, no registration required.


Save the date for Mother’s Day Weekend at the museum and celebrate National Public Garden Day on the trails!

On Friday, May 8, join us for a special cocktail reception and lecture with Amy Stewart, author of The Drunken Botanist, a New York Times Bestseller! Director of Culinary Case Dighero will kick off the evening with specially made herbal drinks from Stewart’s book.

On Saturday, May 9,  come out to Crystal Bridges’ trails to celebrate National Public Garden Day featuring fun-filled outdoor activities for the whole family, including a Chalk Festival, live music, and an illustrated talk by award-winning garden writer Amy Stewart on her popular book Wicked Plants, followed by a demonstration of shrub-drink-making!

veronica.bagwell@crystalbridges.org'
Veronica Bagwell
Digital Media Designer

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