Crystal Bridges is open Wed. through Mon. with free, timed tickets required.

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Crystal Bridges is open Wed. through Mon. with free, timed tickets required.

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Learn More >
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Happy Hour for Your Brain: Introducing Art Buzz

Photo by Marc F. Henning Chihuly Nights event on July 1, 2017, at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark.

The Back-to-School season always makes me feel a little bit nostalgic. I certainly didn’t love homework and tests as a student, but I did love getting new school supplies, poring over my class schedule, organizing my books and folders, and, yes, learning new stuff!  Learning new stuff is what keeps us interested in the world. It helps keep our brains in top working order, and also makes us feel HAPPY.  We are homo sapiens, after all. Sapiens has its roots in the Latin word for knowing.  We humans like to know stuff.


So, if you’re like me and you would like to learn some cool new stuff, but you’re uninterested in taking notes through a lecture, and you’d rather socialize with friends than sit in class, I have the perfect solution!  Art Buzz, a new program at Crystal Bridges beginning August 30, gives you the opportunity to learn new stuff about artworks and artists in the museum’s collection while sipping artisanal cocktails and chatting with new friends.

Think of it as Happy Hour for your Brain.



Each Art Buzz series focuses on a set of artworks related to a theme.  Participants start out with a custom cocktail designed by Eleven’s expert mixologists to complement the topic of the evening, and then launch into an informal conversation with a different museum staff member each session.


The first Art Buzz series, All About Glass, begins with a walk-and-talk through the outdoor Chihuly: In the Forest exhibition with Curator Lauren Haynes. The next two sessions in the series look at artworks in the museum’s permanent collection that deal with similar materials or themes, including Fred Eversley’s Big Red Lens (did you know Eversley started out as a NASA engineer?), Jeff Koons’s Hanging Heart, and Karen LaMonte’s glass sculpture, Dress Impression with Wrinkled Cowl. The conversations are enhanced with close looking and thinking activities, demonstrations, and lots of give and take.


Frederick Eversley, Big Red Lens, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. Photo by Bob Greenspan Photography


“The idea was to create a fun and engaging  series that gives you a fresh look at the collection – over drinks!,” explained Senior Museum Educator Moira Anderson, who will lead the third session of the upcoming Art Buzz. “We’re going to be talking with you, not talking at you.  This isn’t a college course or a studio class, it’s more of a chance to get together for drinks after work to look at and talk about art at the museum. But, each night will feature a close look into the collection, and we’ll share fascinating stories, especially about the creation of some of these large works of art. To me, glass and other materials, such as resin, are incredible mediums to work in.”


Another good thing about the program, it’s affordable.  $55 gets you three evenings, including a custom cocktail, light hors d’oeuvres, and an hour and a half of smart discussion.  (And it’s only $44 for museum members.)  What a great way to feed your curiosity, widen your social circle, and relax with interesting conversation among beautiful works of art!  And no new pencils or notebooks are required.  (That last bit’s kind of a shame. I like to buy new pencils and notebooks. But you get my meaning.)


Sign up for the first Art Buzz series today, and join us for three enjoyable Wednesday nights of cocktails and conversation!  Your brain will thank you.


Linda DeBerry
Senior Copy Editor / Publications Manager


  1.' Brad Twoomey says:

    When will the Bucky Brews be availble ?

    • Linda DeBerry says:

      Hi Brad:
      Unfortunately, the Bucky Brew has come and gone. It was a small batch, and sold out very quickly. If and when they do another batch, Eleven will have it available.

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