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February Brings Valentines, Superheroes, and Black History to Crystal Bridges

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art kicks off February with the opening of Men of Steel, Women on Wonder, Black History Month programs, and Valentine’s Day celebrations.

Men of Steel, Women of Wonder will be on view February 9 to April 22, 2019. The exhibition, organized by Crystal Bridges, features approximately 70 artworks, including paintings, photography, video, sculptures, performance art, and more, created by over 50 US and international artists. Throughout the duration, Crystal Bridges will offer a roster of programs inspired by show and artists, including the Opening Lecture on February 8.

In honor of Black History Month, Crystal Bridges will present programs, gallery conversations, film screenings, and reflections in a Black History Month blog series. These offerings align with the museum’s commitment to inclusion and expanding understanding of American history through the lens of the Black experience.

The museum’s restaurant, Eleven has been offering limited service while construction was underway for a new servery. Eleven will re-open on February 8 with a more user-friendly serving station and aesthetically-pleasing design, developed by Marlon Blackwell Architects, as well as a refreshed menu with the same unique dining experience and High South cuisine concept.  On February 14 and 15, Eleven is offering a special Valentine’s Day Dinner menu from 5 to 9 p.m.

Speaking of Valentine’s Day, Crystal Bridges invites visitors to celebrate the season of love with the whole family at the seventh annual I ♥ Art Family Sunday on February 10. Or, friends, couples, and acquaintances are all invited to the best anti-Valentine’s Day party in Northwest Arkansas at Black Hearts Ball on February 16. Check out the Crystal Bridges blog for ways to explore art and love this Valentine’s Day.

Wheelchair seating is accessible at all programs. American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation is offered at all Distinguished Speaker Lectures and at the Collection Highlights tour on the third Saturday of each month. Based on availability, ASL is available for all programs and tours upon advanced request. Please contact [email protected] or 479.657.2415 to schedule. Relay or voice calls are welcome.

STAY IN THE KNOW! Log in or create an account to customize your eNewsletters based on your interests. A full listing of February programs is below. Information and registration are available on Crystal Bridges’ calendar of events.

Artinfusion Happening » (I)sland T(rap) by Austin Ashford
Friday, February 1, 7 to 8 pm
Fresh off his sold-out performance Off-Broadway at Theatre Row, actor and playwright Austin Ashford presents (I)sland T(rap), a hip-hop riff about Black Ulysses on an Odyssey of self-discovery. This tour-de-force is a powerful exploration of a young artist of color navigating the turbulent waters of contemporary American culture while trying to find his authentic voice. Free event, open to the public, registration required.

Homeschool Tour and Art » Personal Space
Wednesday, February 6, 1 to 3 pm
Explore various representations of interior space in our permanent collection and in our focus exhibition Personal Space. Then, using drawing and collage, create your own ideal space. Free, register online or by calling Guest Services.

Afterschool Art Class » Caped Crusaders
Thursday, February 7, 14, 21, 4 to 5:30 pm
Fight crime and become a superhero! Explore the temporary exhibition Men of Steel, Women of Wonder. Back in the studio, become a superhero by making your own crime-fighting attire including a cape, mask, and accessories. $45/3 sessions ($36/members), register online or with Guest Services.

Homeschool Friday Fun » Superheroes (Ages 5 to 12)
Friday, February 8, 15, 22, 2 to 3:30 pm
Adventure through the temporary exhibition Men of Steel, Women of Wonder. Explore storytelling and design your own superhero and comic adventure. $45/3 sessions ($36/ members), register online or with Guest Services.

Member Preview » Men of Steel, Women of Wonder
Friday, February 8, 11 am to 9 pm
Museum members are invited to enjoy a first look at the temporary exhibition, Men of Steel, Women of Wonder. Offering fresh perspectives, these artists use Superman and Wonder Woman to explore national identity, American values, social politics, and the concept of humanity in an exciting, thought-provoking, unforgettable exhibition. Free, register online or by calling the Member Priority Line at 479.418.5728.

Featured Artisan Demonstration and Sale » Gustav Carlson
February 8 and 10, 10 am to 6 pm
Come visit Gustav to hear about his comic series “Girl of the Ozarks,” “Tourists Unknown” and what it was like to do some drawings for the power pads in the Men of Steel, Women of Wonder exhibition.

Opening Exhibition Lecture » Men of Steel, Women of Wonder
Friday, February 8, 7 to 8 pm
Join us for an opening lecture celebrating Men of Steel, Women of Wonder, featuring artists Fahamu Pecou and Aphrodite Navab in conversation with Assistant Curator Alejo Benedetti. Free with online registration.

Gallery Conversation » The Cotton Pickers
Saturday, February 9, 1 to 2 pm
Join Museum Educator Raven Cook as she discusses Black identity in America and the mobility of Black women throughout history through the lens of Winslow Homer’s The Cotton Pickers. Free, no registration required.

SOLD OUT Studio Squad » Art in the Dark
Saturday, February 9, 4 to 5:30 pm
It’s glow time! We’re having a glow-in-the-dark studio takeover with glowsticks, blacklight, and tons of neon. Experiment with different materials to create the brightest art in the dark. Free, register online or with Guest Services.

Family Sunday » I Heart Art
Sunday, February 10, 12 to 5 pm
Bring your loved ones to Crystal Bridges to enjoy music, hands-on fun, a photo booth, and more for a Valentine’s-themed day. After walking through Men of Steel, Women of Wonder, show some love and appreciation for the heroes in your life. Free, no registration required.

DISH » Hannah Withers
Wednesday, February 13, 6 to 7:30 pm
Enjoy an in-depth conversation with Arkansas restaurateur and community activist Hannah Withers while you enjoy drinks and appetizers. $50 ($40 for members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.

Preschool Playdate » Love Potions
Thursday, February 14, 11:30 am to 2 pm
Join us at the museum this Valentine’s Day with your preschooler for creative play, artmaking, and storytime! Playdate starts with a performance in the Great Hall. Free, no registration required.

Gallery Conversation » Between the Capes
Thursday, February 14, 1 to 2 pm
Hear about Rich Simmons’ artwork Between the Capes and discover the origins of the superheroes’ embrace. NOTE: You must purchase a ticket to Men of Steel, Women of Wonder to participate in this gallery conversation.

Film Screening » Free Men
Friday, February 15, 7 to 9:30 pm
Join us for a film screening and post-discussion on the film, Free Men, by Anne-Frédérique Widmann. This film program is in collaboration with the University of Arkansas Black Alumni Society and the Black culture preservation platform, Visionairi. Free, registration required.

Saturday Session » Men of Steel, Women of Wonder
Saturday, February 16, 9 am to 1 pm
We will explore themes in the special exhibition, Men of Steel, Women of Wonder, while delving into hands-on artmaking projects designed to help students to make connections to the deeper elements behind these pop culture icons. 4 hours of PD credit available. $10 ($8 members)/ Register online or by calling Guest Services

Discover the Grounds » Great Backyard Bird Count with Jay Schneider
Saturday, February 16, 10 to 11:30 am
Kick off our first Discover the Grounds program of the year celebrating the National Audubon Society’s Great Backyard Bird Count with a guided walk led by Jay Schneider, Assistant Parks Supervisor at Hobbs State Park. A guided bird-watching walk on our beautiful grounds will follow the presentation; make sure to dress warmly! Free, register online or with Guest Services.

Black Hearts Ball
Saturday, February 16, 9 pm to 12 am
Single? In a relationship? Somewhere in between? No matter your status, we’ve got everything you need to celebrate–or not celebrate–Valentine’s Day the right way. UltraSuede graces our main stage and DJ Swift 720 will keep the evening rolling with all the anti-love songs you want to hear. Appetizers will be served throughout the evening, and signature cocktails will be offered. Cash bar available. Guests will also have access to the temporary exhibition Men of Steel, Women of Wonder. $25 ($20/members; FREE for Artinfusion members), register online or with Guest Services.

Adult Workshop » iPhoneography
Sunday, February 17, 1 to 5 pm
In this workshop, fine art photographer Rob Gordon will lead us in the art of taking great photos with just our phones, with tips on lighting, styling, and more. Each participant will leave with several printed images of their work. 45 ($40 for members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335

Art Teacher PD Day » Fabulous Felting
Monday, February 18, 8:30 am to 3:30 pm
In this full-day workshop for art teachers, you will learn several needle felting and embellishing techniques which will then be applied to the creation of a finished work of felted art. 6 Hours of PD credit available. $10 ($8 members), register online or by calling Guest Services.

The Great Reveal » Reclaiming Caricatures
Thursday, February 21, 6 to 7 pm
Looking at works produced during the Civil War era. Special selections from the vault. Free, no registration required.

Sovereignty, a play by Mary Kathryn Nagle, presented by TheatreSquared
Thursday, February 21, 7 to 8 pm
Join us for a reading of Mary Kathryn Nagle’s play, Sovereignty. Continuing the museum’s conversation on Native voices, Sovereignty will be performed by TheatreSquared with support from The University of Arkansas. Free, register online or with Guest Services.

Evening for Educators
Friday, February 22, 6 to 8 pm
This year we will be highlighting various strategies for teaching using works of art in our special exhibition, Men of Steel, Women of Wonder, as well as hands-on activities. Then enjoy dancing, a free drink, and snacks! Cash bar available. New this year, we will be offering 2 hours of PD credit for attending and participating in Evening for Educators. Free, register online or by calling Guest Services.

Art by the Glass » Comic Posters
Friday, February 22, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Inspired by the exhibition Men of Steel, Women of Wonder, become the hero in your own story, learning the basics of designing and drawing your own poster with high-quality markers and inks. All materials, plus a glass of wine or beer and light appetizers are provided. $30 ($26/members), register online or with Guest Services.

CB Babies
Saturday, February 23, 10 to 11:30 am
Join us for this special program for the museum’s youngest visitors: infants ages 3 to 24 months with a caregiver. You’ll spend time in the galleries looking at and talking to your baby about art before enjoying sensory playtime. $10 per baby, free tickets for 1-2 adults per baby ($8/members), register online or with Guest Services.

Family Nature Workshop » The Bird is the Word
Saturday, February 23, 10:30 am to 12 pm
Discover some feathered friends at Crystal Bridges and create bird-noculars for your peepers and a birdhouse, too! Free, register online or with Guest Services.

Multisensory Saturday
Saturday, February 23, 11 am to 2 pm
Join us for multisensory exploration at the museum featuring gallery activities that focus on access and inclusion and highlight all the senses. Free, no registration required.

Gallery Conversation » NWA Racial Justice Memorial Project
Saturday, February 23, 1 to 2 pm
Join us in the galleries near George Inness’s An Old Roadway for a conversation with members of the NWA Racial Justice Memorial Project about the creation of a new local initiative to honor lynching victims in Northwest Arkansas. Free, no registration required.

Film Screening » Aretha Franklin, Amazing Grace
Sunday, February 24, 4 to 6 pm
Join us for a film screening of the recently released documentary, Amazing Grace, which presents Aretha Franklin with the choir at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles in January 1972. Free, registration required. Register online.

Gallery Conversation » What’s New: Njideka Akunyili Crosby
Thursday, February 28, 1 to 2 pm
Meet Curatorial Assistant Jayson Overby, as he shares about Njideka Akunyili Crosby’s work Mama, Mummy and Mamma (Predecessors #2). Free, no registration required.

Superhero Film Series » Superman (1978)
Thursday, February 28, 7 to 10 pm
Join us for a screening of the 1978 film, Superman, starring Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Marlon Brando, and Gene Hackman. Afterwards, take part in a fun conversation about the characters, plot, and other elements of the film. Free, registration required. Register online.

For a complete list of current exhibitions, visit here. For news updates, follow Crystal Bridges on the Blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

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