Looking for a fun activity to share with friends and family during the long Memorial Day weekend? At Crystal Bridges, we are ready to kick off summer! The museum is bursting with new activities in addition to our permanent collection. This Saturday, one of our two summer shows (Nature’s Nation) opens, as well as our brand new artmaking space for all ages, the Studio. Visitors are also encouraged to come to the museum and pay their respects to veterans with The Wall That Heals and a special Drop-In Artmaking activity.
Read more below about what to expect at Crystal Bridges this Memorial Day weekend:
Our first of two summer exhibitions opens this Saturday, May 25–Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment. Similar to the mission of Crystal Bridges, Nature’s Nation illuminates the connection between art and nature. Featuring 100 artworks from renowned artists such as Albert Bierstadt, Charlies Willson Peale, Frank Lloyd Wright, Georgia O’Keeffe, Dorothea Lange, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Ana Mendieta, Postcommodity, and more, Nature’s Nation traces 300 years of evolving ideas about the natural world and our place within it.
Museum members get to see the exhibition a day early on Friday, May 24 during regular museum hours!
Everyone is invited to the Opening Exhibition Lecture on Friday at 7 pm, beginning with an overview of the exhibition, given by co-curators Karl Kusserow (Princeton University Art Museum) and Alan Braddock (William & Mary), followed by a discussion with artist Walton Ford (Dying Words). The event is free and open to everyone; reserve your tickets here.
During Memorial Day weekend, Crystal Bridges will host The Wall That Heals, a three-quarter-scale traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC in tandem with a mobile learning center. The replica will be free and open to the public 24 hours daily, beginning at 12:00 am on May 23 and closing at 1:00 pm on May 27. The Wall That Heals will be located at the entrance to the museum, in the field near Buckyball, starting this Thursday. Visitors are welcome to explore the wall, take pencil rubbings of the names on the wall, and explore the mobile learning center. Check out more news about this on KNWA!
Veterans: Crystal Bridges offers veterans free admission to ticketed temporary exhibitions year-round! Check out Nature’s Nation for free during your visit.
Try your hand at art in the Studio, a creative artmaking space for all ages. Formerly known as the Experience Art Studio, the space has been redesigned and refreshed to offer artmaking activities for adults and children alike. Colorful forest animals adorn the walls and visitors can still enjoy activity favorites such as the puppet theater. Take a break from the galleries and get inspired to create your own masterpiece.
Drop-In Artmaking takes place in the Studio every Saturday and Sunday afternoon from 1 to 4 pm. This weekend, we will be writing letters to local veterans thanking them for their service. Everyone is welcome to participate and offer their gratitude during this artmaking activity.
A renowned and popular painter of animals and insects, Pen Brady will be demonstrating her contemporary wildlife painting techniques in the store on Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26 during regular museum hours. Visitors are also welcome to purchase the artworks she’ll have available in the store this weekend.
Also, while The Wall That Heals is at Crystal Bridges (May 23-27), the Museum Store will offer a 10% purchase discount for veterans, and 20% for veterans who are also museum members.
On Saturday, May 25 from 1-2 pm, poet Noelia Young will perform a 30-minute set of readings focused on the immigrant experience, particularly those of Latina women in the United States. She explores the rift between generations of immigrants and the struggles of finding a place amongst the old culture and the new. She discusses the struggle of assimilation and racism in America as well as cultural issues faced within the Latin American culture. There will be a short Q&A following this performance. Drop in to her reading, free of charge, in the Early American Art Gallery!
With over four miles of art and walking trails around the Crystal Bridges museum, there is plenty to see outside of the galleries! The dogwoods are staying particularly strong this season and are still in bloom on the grounds along with other bright and colorful summer flowers and trees. The forecast looks sunny and warm for Memorial Day weekend, so don’t miss your chance to grab a drink at the Coffee Bar and take a stroll with your family, friends, or SO around the trails.