On Sunday, March 5, from 1 to 4 p.m., Crystal Bridges hosts the wrap-up celebration for Bentonville’s One District, One Book event. This is a national program organized by Read to Them, an organization that educates families and schools on the benefits and importance of reading aloud at home.
The One District, One Book program was actually born right here in Bentonville. It grew out of Read to Them’s “One School, One Book” program, which focuses on a single book that is supplied to every student in the school to encourage school-wide conversation and reading. Bentonville’s Apple Glenn Elementary School participated in the OSOB program in 2009 and the principal was so impressed that she advocated expanding the program to encompass the entire district: and thus One District, One Book was born! You can read more about that on the Read to Them website here.
This year’s book was The Adventures of a South Pole Pig: A novel of snow and courage, by Chris Kurtz. A host of activities and programs go along with the district-wide reading, all culminating this Sunday with Crystal Bridges’ wrap-up bash, from 1 to 4:00 p.m. You don’t have to have read the book to come take part in the fun. Bring the whole family for an afternoon of music, artmaking, and games with friends from Bentonville Public Schools, the Bentonville Public Library, and other community collaborators.
Adventures of a South Pole Pig focuses on Flora the pig, who, after seeing a sled dog team in action, yearns to be a sled pig and lights out for Antarctica to make her dreams come true.
Visitors to Crystal Bridges’ Art Trail are familiar with another pretty dreamy pig: Stella, the life-sized bronze pig sculpture by André Harvey that greets trail-walkers as they approach the museum. Our pretty, porcine ambassador measures nearly six feet in length, stands over three feet tall, and tips the scales at a hefty 560 pounds.
André Harvey is a largely self-taught artist who creates highly realistic bronze sculptures of animals of all kinds. For each animal he sculpts, Harvey conducts extensive research and spends as much time as he can in the presence of the animals themselves so he can accurately capture their physical form as well as their personality. Stella was inspired by a litter of piglets Harvey encountered at a veterinary hospital near his home in Pennsylvania. He visited every week, bringing ears of corn to feed the pigs while he studied them. Harvey has sculpted a number of pigs, including Helen, whom you can see here, along with some of the other animal sculptures he has created.
We hope you’ll come out this weekend to visit Stella, read about Flora the South Pole pig, and celebrate the importance of art and reading in our lives!