– In the month of March, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art invites visitors to enjoy programs inspired by the temporary exhibition The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip, as well as the opening lecture in the museum’s new Distinguished Speaker Series.
On view February 27 through May 30, The Open Road features 19 photographers on the move across America from the 1950s to today, presenting the story of the American road as inspiration. Joined by photographers Stephen Shore and Justine Kurland, whose work is featured in the exhibition, curator David Campany will moderate a conversation on the roots of modern travel photography in an opening panel discussion on February 26. In celebration of the exhibition, a Variety Show on March 4 will feature music, film, and spoken-word performance inspired by songs of the road. The Open Road Film Series will begin on March 24 with Dwight Chalmer’s short film “Dim the Lights,” and a March 31 Spotlight Talk with Kaisa Bathuli will explore the significance of Route 66.
Commissioned by Oprah Winfrey as a birthday present for author and poet Maya Angelou, artist Faith Ringgold’s Maya’s Quilt of Life now hangs in Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection. Ringgold will be at the museum on March 18 to discuss her quilts and 60+ year career in the inaugural Distinguished Speaker event. The Distinguished Speaker Series at Crystal Bridges invites visitors to hear from internationally acclaimed leaders who inspire new ways of thinking about art, architecture, and nature.
The Open Road Tour
Monday and Thursday, 1 pm
Enjoy a cruise through the temporary exhibition The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip, with one of Crystal Bridges’ knowledgeable Gallery Guides at the wheel. This tour will look closely at the photographs of five or six significant artists in the exhibition and discuss the photographers’ road trips and how these experiences influenced their work and impacted the idea of the American road trip.
Saturdays and Sundays, 1 to 4 pm
Drop in our studios any time between 1 and 4 p.m. for creative play and art-making the whole family will enjoy.
Thursday, March 3, 1 to 2 pm and 6:30 to 7:30 pm
Gallery Conversation » The Open Road
Enjoy stimulating conversations facilitated by speakers from the Museum and community, including curators, artists, writers, professors, and more! In this Gallery Conversation, join Director of Curatorial Affairs Margi Conrads in the afternoon and Curatorial Assistant Ali Demorotski in the evening for two opportunities to discuss the new exhibition The Open Road.
Price of The Open Road exhibition: $10 ($8 for Members). No registration required, but a ticket to the exhibition is necessary. Space is limited, so please arrive 5 to 10 minutes early.
Friday, March 4, 7 to 9 pm
Variety Show » Songs of the Road
Join us for a variety show exploring the love of road trips! The night will include film, performance, and an interactive concert by Smokey & the Mirror. Local poet Houston Hughes will host the show with intermittent spoken-word from great travel writers of our time, including Walt Whitman, Jack Kerouac, and many others. We’ll screen the short film “Pull My Daisy” (1959, 30 minutes), which explores the Beat generation and was co-directed by Robert Frank, a photographer in The Open Road exhibition. Free, register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.
Saturday, March 5, 9 am to 1 pm
Saturday Session for Teachers » The Open Road
The road trip is an iconic feature of American culture. In this workshop, we’ll explore images of the Great American Road Trip and discuss classroom strategies for utilizing personal technology, or BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), as documentation tools. Sponsored by Neff and Scarlett Basore. $10 ($8 for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.
Sunday, March 6, 1 to 4 pm
One District One Book Celebration
Join us for a wrap-up celebration of the city-wide One District One Book reading program! Bring the whole family for an afternoon of music, art-making, games, and more. Sponsored by Roy and Christine Sturgis Charitable Trust, Bank of America, N.A. Trustee, and Rockline Industries. Free, no registration required.
Monday, March 7 and 21, 1 to 3 pm
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 other adults 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/$5 for Members, register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.
Monday, March 7, 6 to 7 pm
Yoga and Art » Chakra Series: Root
Balance the body, mind, and spirit! Find focus and release with Yoga Story’s Cindee Joslin in this uplifting group experience. Discover various Museum spaces through motivational sessions that embody balancing chakras, color, and movement. This month’s chakra is Root. 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.
Wednesday, March 9, 6 to 8:30 pm
Wednesday Series for Educators » Looking Beyond the Obvious: Part II
What is more obvious and avoided than the nude in art? We’ll look at works of art in this workshop, focusing on undraped figures as we explore the different ways these works have been interpreted. Sponsored by Neff and Scarlett Basore. $10 ($8 for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.
Wednesday, March 9 and 23, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Figure Drawing from the Nude Model
Join us on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month for this adult figure drawing class with a nude model. A variety of drawing materials will be provided, and model poses will include both shorter warm-up poses and longer poses. Participants must be 18 or older. (Note: Figure Drawing sessions with a clothed model are offered on the first and third Mondays of each month, and are open to participants ages 14 and up.) $10 ($5 for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services
Thursday, March 10, 11:30 to 2 pm
Preschool Playdate » Road Trip!
Send a greeting from the Natural State! Enjoy art projects, story time, and creative play inspired by the temporary exhibition The Open Road. Sponsored by Roy and Christine Sturgis Charitable Trust, Bank of America, N.A. Trustee and The Hershey Company Free, no registration required.
Friday, March 11, 8 to 11 pm
Just Dance » Salsa and Square Dancing
Join our new Just Dance series to groove in the Great Hall. Bring a dance partner, or meet one at the event! Salsa and square dancing lessons will be taught for the first eight minutes of every hour. Free, register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.
Saturday, March 12, 1 to 2 pm
Gallery Conversation » 18th-Century Fashion: Dress, Body, and Identity
Join stimulating conversations facilitated by speakers from the Museum and community, including curators, artists, writers, professors, and more! In this Gallery Conversation, Tyson Scholar Leslie Reinhardt will discuss early fashion trends of the 18th-century, including how artists represented dress in art. Free, no registration required.
Sunday, March 13, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
CR(EAT)E Food Series » Art Inspires Cuisine: The Open Road
Enjoy an in-depth glimpse and taste of how art inspires the culinary world of Crystal Bridges! Join Culinary Director Case Dighero, Executive Chef Bill Lyle, and special guests to discuss the temporary exhibition The Open Road while experiencing a special dinner inspired by the exhibition. $100 ($80 for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.
Monday, March 14, 11 am to 12:30 pm
Writers Group » Featured Poet: Houston Hughes
Join local poet Houston Hughes to explore poetry inspired by travel and life on the road in the temporary exhibition The Open Road. $8 (Free for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services
Monday, March 14 and 28, 1:30 to 3:30 pm
Creative Connections is a program for individuals in the early stages Alzheimer’s or related dementia and their care partners. Museum Educators facilitate interactive discussions of artworks in the galleries and hands-on art activities in the studio. No prior art experience required! Refreshments and art materials are provided. Sponsored by Loreen Arbus. Presented in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association and Schmieding Center for Senior Health and Education. Free. Advance registration through Alzheimer’s Association required. To register, contact: Alzheimer’s Association by calling (479) 273-5559, or email [email protected].
Wednesday, March, 16, 1:30 to 2:30 pm
Art Book Club » Lightning Man by Kenneth Silverman
Discover the fascinating and tumultuous life of Samuel F.B. Morse—the famed inventor and artist behind the masterpiece painting Gallery of the Louvre, currently on view. Free, no registration required.
Wednesday, March 16, 6 to 7 pm
WOW » The Open Road
Please join Crystal Bridges Culinary Director Case Dighero and special guest Curatorial Assistant Ali Demorotski as they discuss the exciting temporary exhibition The Open Road. Open to guests ages 21 and above. Sponsored by Premier Dermatology and Riedel Glassware. $30 ($24 for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335
Thursdays, March 17, 24, 31, 7 to 8:30 pm
Intro to Art » A (Brief) History of American Photography
Delve into the rich and storied history of photography from its inception to today with Curatorial Assistant Ali Demorotski and Curator Mindy Besaw. This three-part program will highlight the many contributions and iconic images created by American artists and inventors throughout photography’s 176-year history. We’ll explore various photographic processes, styles, movements, and photographers while studying the constantly evolving medium. This series provides an excellent foundation for a deeper understanding and appreciation of the current temporary exhibition The Open Road. $30 for 3 sessions ($24 for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.
Friday, March 18, 7 to 8:30 pm
Distinguished Speaker Series » Faith Ringgold, artist
Meet artist Faith Ringgold as she speaks about her career of more than 60 years, with particular focus on Maya’s Quilt, inspired by Maya Angelou and on view in our 1940s to Now Gallery. We’ll explore Ringgold’s fascinating career, beginning in the early 1960’s with political imagery and the artist’s first-hand accounts of the Civil Rights Movement in her American People series. Ringgold’s inspiring, often humorous, and always human stories illustrate her life’s work as an artist, activist, author, teacher, and parent through the evolution of an amazing body of work, including her well-known story quilts. Join us for a book signing with the artist following the lecture. Sponsored by Del Monte Foods. $10 ($8 for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.
Saturday, March 19, 9 am to 1 pm
Educator Studio Workshop » Create with Faith Ringgold!
Educators and librarians are invited to enjoy this unique opportunity to participate in a hands-on workshop with artist Faith Ringgold. This workshop will follow Ringgold’s participation in Crystal Bridges’ Distinguished Speaker Series on Friday, March 18. For more information and to apply for participation in this free program, please contact Sally Ball at [email protected]. Sponsored by Neff and Scarlett Basore. Free, register with [email protected].
Saturday, March 19, 10 am to 6 pm
Featured Artisan » Lesha Shaver: Book Binding Demonstration
Join Lesha Shaver of Little Mountain Book Bindery as she demonstrates the technique of book binding. In the spirit of The Open Road exhibition, we’ll feature a large selection of her handmade refillable journals called Fillions. The Fillion journal system is inspired by the Midori Travel Journal and a traditional long stitch leather journal. This journal system can be loaded and customized countless ways according to how you use it. Free, no registration required.
Saturday, March 19, through Sunday, March 27, 1 to 4 pm
Spring Break Specials
Not heading out on a road trip this spring break? Bring your family to the Museum to experience The Open Road exhibition, which offers a survey of works created by nineteen photographers on the move across the nation from the 1950s to today. These Spring Break Specials feature a variety of fun activities each afternoon, including art-making, performance, and more! Sponsored by Roy & Christine Sturgis Charitable Trust, Bank of America, N.A. Trustee. Free, no registration required.
Wednesday, March 23, 5 to 9 pm
Artinfusion @ Culture Hour » Coloring Book Craze with Mathematics
Get together with artinfusion Members and friends at a special Culture Hour just for you! Artinfusion Members and friends are invited to come together each month to meet and mingle during Culture Hour in Eleven. Meet author Edmund Harris, a mathematical whiz who will unveil his new coloring book, Patterns of the Universe. Harris will lead a series of unique coloring patterns to jumpstart your creative thinking over drinks! Enjoy networking, complimentary nosh, and $6 drink specials in Eleven. You’ll meet guest artists and speakers, and enjoy artmaking experiences. Bring a friend! Artinfusion is especially for Crystal Bridges Members ages 21 to 40s. Sponsored by Saatchi & Saatchi X, RopeSwing, Arvest Bank, Wright Lindsey Jennings, and Blue Moon Brewing Company. Free, no registration required.
Thursday, March 24, 7 to 8:30 pm
The Open Road Film Series » “Dim the Lights” and “The Wild Angels”
Meet local filmmaker Dwight Chalmers as he presents his short film “Dim the Lights” (8 minutes), followed by a discussion on the art of road films. Chalmers will feature the 1966 Roger Corman film The Wild Angels, made three years prior to Easy Rider and the first film to associate actor Peter Fonda with Harley-Davidson motorcycles and 1960s counterculture. Sponsored by inVeritas and Demara Titzer. Free, register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.
Friday, March 25, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Art by the Glass » Think Outside the App
Get creative behind the lens in this social class inspired by the temporary exhibition The Open Road. Using everyday materials to create DIY filters, and snap some images with your cell phone. All materials (except for cell phones!) plus two glasses of wine and hors d’oeuvres are provided. $45 ($36 for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657,2335.
Saturday, March 26, 10 am to 6 pm
Featured Artisan » Trent Tally Thrown Pottery Demonstration
Join us in the Museum Store to enjoy a demonstration by Trent Tally. Tally’s work in porcelain, stoneware, low-fire earthen ware, and raku combine influences from primitive, ancient, and modern art. Afterward the demonstration, browse the artworks by this nationally-known, award-winning artist. Free, no registration required.
Saturday, March 26, 1 to 2 p m
Gallery Conversation » Food for Thought
Join stimulating conversations facilitated by speakers from the Museum and community, including curators, artists, writers, professors, and more! In this Gallery Conversation, discuss art and food with Educator Moira Traw as you explore two works of art: Robert Indiana’s The Electric EAT and George Segal’s Depression Bread Line. Free, no registration required.
Wednesday, March 30, 6 to 7 pm
Friday, April 1, 2 to 3 pm
Great Reveal » Ed Ruscha’s Artist Books
Take a spin with the Library’s collection of artist books by Ed Ruscha, many of which pay homage to sights seen on the road. These playful and inventive works will be available for close viewing following the talk, including Ruscha’s landmark 1963 book Twentysix Gasoline Stations, which is featured in the temporary exhibition The Open Road. Free, register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.
Thursday, March 31, 7 to 8 pm
Spotlight Talks » Kaisa Bathuli: Route 66
Explore the significance of Route 66 to America’s heritage with Kaisa Bathuli, Program Manager for the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program, which is dedicated to preserving the special places and stories of the historic highway. This talk is inspired by the temporary exhibition The Open Road. Free, register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.
About Crystal Bridges
The mission of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is to welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature. We explore the unfolding story of America by actively collecting, exhibiting, interpreting, and preserving outstanding works that illuminate our heritage and artistic possibilities.
Opened to the public on 11-11-11, Crystal Bridges was founded in 2005 by the Walton Family Foundation as a nonprofit charitable organization for all to enjoy. Philanthropist and arts patron Alice Walton chairs the Museum’s board of directors. Since its opening, the Museum has welcomed more than two million visitors, and garnered 9,000 membership households. Some 89,000 school children have participated in the Museum’s Willard and Pat Walker School Visit program, which provides educational experiences for school groups at no cost to the schools. More than 240,000 visitors a year utilize the Museum’s 3.5 miles of walking trails.
Crystal Bridges takes its name from a nearby natural spring and the bridge construction incorporated in the building, designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. A series of pavilions nestled around two spring-fed ponds house galleries, meeting and classroom spaces, and a large, glass-enclosed gathering hall. Guest amenities include a restaurant on a glass-enclosed bridge overlooking the ponds, Museum Store designed by architect Marlon Blackwell, and a library featuring more than 50,000 volumes of art reference material. Sculpture and walking trails link the Museum’s 120-acre park to downtown Bentonville, Arkansas.
Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection spans five centuries of American masterworks ranging from the Colonial era to the current day. Included within the collection are iconic images such as Asher B. Durand’s Kindred Spirits, Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter, and Andy Warhol’s Coca-Cola — each reflecting a distinct moment in American artistic evolution—as well as major works by modern and contemporary American artists, including Georgia O’Keeffe, John Baldessari, and James Turrell. The permanent collection, which continues to grow through a strategic acquisition plan, is on view year-round and is enhanced by an array of temporary exhibitions, which were viewed by some 242,000 visitors in 2014.
Crystal Bridges provides year-round programming for all ages. In 2014, more than 500 public programs were offered, including lectures, performances, classes, and continuing education for K-12 teachers. An award-winning app, available free for both Apple and Android devices, features audio tours of current and past exhibitions, and many of the Museum’s lectures and gallery talks are available in Crystal Bridges’ iTunes U site. A new initiative to develop high-quality distance-learning opportunities for students and teachers begins this year.
Crystal Bridges also offers two research fellowship programs. The Tyson Scholars in American Art program supports full-time scholarship in the history of American art. The Reese Teacher Fellowship provides for research into the development of interdisciplinary connections between American art and core curriculum subjects of language arts, history, social studies, and the sciences. Additional information about Crystal Bridges is available online at CrystalBridges.org.