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Your Summer 2021 Guide to Crystal Bridges

Aerial view of Crystal Bridges

Summer is calling! Crystal Bridges is pumped and ready to welcome everyone to experience the power of art and the beauty of nature. From new art in the galleries and on the trails to the return of on-site activities to new spaces and exhibitions, there is so much to experience at Crystal Bridges this summer. Use this blog to check out our summer offerings and plan your visit today!

A few things to know before you go:

Timed Ticket Update: As of June 1, we no longer require timed-ticket entry at Crystal Bridges. The Momentary will continue to have free admission, no tickets required.

COVID-19 Visitation Policies *As of July 21, 2021*: Due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, we recommend that all visitors ages 2 and up wear a face covering while indoors except while eating or drinking. In addition, we require all staff to wear face coverings indoors, as well as guests who are not yet vaccinated. Masks will be available upon entry for those who do not have one.

Enjoy Summer Hour: Beginning Memorial Day (Monday, May 31), the Crystal Bridges galleries will open at 10 a.m. each day the museum is open, offering an extra summer hour to enjoy art, architecture, and nature!

Find inspiration in the galleries

Crystal Bridges museum art galleries

One of the most exciting things about exploring the galleries at Crystal Bridges is learning something you never knew before, whether it’s about art history, American history, or simply human history. The stories each artwork tells are rich and vibrant, offering new perspectives from all walks of life. Guest favorites include works by Gilbert Stuart, Mary Cassatt, Norman Rockwell, Helen Frankenthaler, Georgia O’Keeffe, Andy Warhol, Maya Lin, Amy Sherald, Kehinde Wiley, Dale Chihuly, Yayoi Kusama, and others. 

Museum visitors can also enjoy free, focus exhibitions through the gallery such as This Is the Day and What I Know: Gifts from Gordon W. Bailey (opening June 26). These exhibitions pair artworks together to focus on a specific theme, such as the resilience of the Black church or what it means for an artist to have knowledge.

Share your favorites with us on social with #CrystalBridges.

Visit our summer exhibition, Crystal Bridges at 10

Crystal Bridges at 10 exhibition

Celebrate a decade of Crystal Bridges…and counting! Crystal Bridges at 10 is a new exhibition with 10 immersive art experiences, accessible and welcoming to all ages. Primarily drawing from the museum’s collection, the exhibition features 130+ artworks, presenting crowd favorites in new ways and showcasing works never before on view at the museum. Step into a life-size tableau vivant, or living picture, of The Lantern Bearers (pictured above). Watch an artist create a new work of art in the galleries before your eyes. And so much more.

Crystal Bridges at 10 opens Sunday, July 11 and runs through September 27, 2021. Tickets coming soon!

Explore the trails, including new acquisitions in the North Forest

Rashid Johnson installation
Rashid Johnson, The Bruising: For Jules, The Bird, Jack and Leni, 2020. Photo by Ironside Photography / Stephen Ironside.

Did you know Crystal Bridges offers five miles of walking and biking trails around the museum? In addition to enjoying the natural flora and fauna of the Ozark forest, visitors can also find over 30 sculptures along the trails to enjoy art against the backdrop of nature.

This summer, we have added two new sculptures to the North Forest Trail: Brick House by Chakaia Booker and a long-term loan called The Bruising: For Jules, The Bird, Jack and Leni by Rashid Johnson (pictured above). This unique, midnight-blue, 20 x 20 x 20-foot, living greenhouse holds a collection of native and non-native plants that will change with the seasons. Take a plant tour of the sculpture here.

Return to the Bachman-Wilson House

Frank Lloyd Wright Wilson Bachman House exterior
Bachman Wilson House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. ©Tarantino Studio 2013

The beloved Usonian house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright has reopened to the public after being closed due to COVID-19 precautions. The structure was dismantled at its original site in Somerset County, New Jersey, and reconstructed on the museum grounds in 2015.

General admission tickets for self-guided tours are required, but free!
If you prefer a guided tour, they are also available for $10.

Find tickets and more information about tours and more here.

Enjoy outdoor music at the Forest Concert Series

Patrons enjoying a concert in the Crystal Bridges North Forest
Photo by Marc F. Henning

Live music is back in the North Forest! Every Saturday night in June and July, experience the Forest Concert Series, presented on the Coca-Cola Stage. This set of outdoor concerts merges national and local musicians in our beautiful North Forest, surrounded by art and nature. Bring your lawn chair or a blanket to enjoy live music under the forest trees. A food truck and cash bar will be available throughout the night, as well as artmaking activities. 

Want to upgrade your Forest Concert experience? Reserve an all-inclusive VIP Forest Concert Globe! The VIP Globes include early admission, concierge beverage service for the evening, one savory and one sweet menu item per person, and reserved seats at the concert. Skip the lines at the food truck and bar by reserving your all-inclusive Forest Concert Globe Experience, and let us bring the drinks to you.

See the Forest Concert Series lineup and learn more about Concert Globes here.

Try your hand at artmaking in the Studio

The Studio - families making artwork

The Studio is reopening beginning Wednesday, June 30! Another space that was previously closed due to COVID-19 precautions, the Studio is an artmaking space for kids and adults alike to take a break from the galleries and participate in fun art activities and games. Located off Walker Landing and accessible through the galleries, this is the perfect place to take a break from your art exploration and try your hand at making your own masterpiece. 

The Studio is sponsored by Jack and Melba Shewmaker.

Check out the museum’s new lobby area

Crystal Bridges main lobby
Photo by Ironside Photography / Stephen Ironside.

If you haven’t been to the museum in a while, the Crystal Bridges lobby might look a little different…but in a good way! The museum’s entrance, which used to be a courtyard, is now covered by a glass-ceiling dome, connecting the Museum Store to the main lobby area. Visitors can also enjoy a new wall to find maps, information, and coloring pages to enhance the museum visit experience. The lobby area will have some new additions throughout the summer, including new furniture, new check-in kiosks, and more.

Looking for weeknight plans? Make it a date night at the museum.

People enjoying beverages at Eleven restaurant

Weeknights at Crystal Bridges are magical. They tend to be less crowded, offering opportunities for slow looking in the galleries and enjoying bar specials in Eleven. We recommend making a date night of it! Order a glass of wine or beer and snacks during Happy Hour (Wed-Fri, 4-6:30 p.m.) in Eleven and admire the evening views of the Ozark forest all around you. Better yet: bring your own colored pencils to the museum (or purchase a set in the Museum Store), pick up a few coloring pages from the wall in the lobby, and have an adult coloring night with a glass of wine. Crystal Bridges is open until 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights.

Enjoy local flavors at the Food Truck Rodeo

High South on a Roll Food Truck

Swing by Crystal Bridges on the third Sunday of every month this summer and enjoy local food truck favorites in a pop-up food court next to Buckyball. From the sweet treats of Buttercup Cupcakery to the savory creations of Eleven’s food truck, we’re bringing the flavors of Northwest Arkansas straight to you.

Participate in artmaking programs and Summer Camps

Child engaged in an art-making activity

Artmaking activities are making their way back on-site at the museum! Check out our calendar for a full list of activities and see what you can participate in during your visit. Drop-In Artmaking activities happen every Saturday and Sunday afternoon and are a great way to engage in free art activities at the museum.

Looking for something for the kids to do this summer? Consider signing them up for a Summer Camp at Crystal Bridges! These weeklong camps are arranged for different age groups, offering opportunities to engage with the museum and practice their artmaking around a specific theme. See the full lineup of Summer Camps and learn more here.

Visit Bentonville during your trip

The Momentary
Photo by Ironside Photography / Stephen Ironside.

Downtown Bentonville is accessible from Crystal Bridges by way of the trails. From the south entrance of the museum, walk south on the Art Trail, which then turns into the Crystal Bridges Trail, until you arrive at Lawrence Plaza on 3rd St. From there, you can enjoy more art at 21c Museum Hotel, walk the Bentonville Square, or keep heading south to E St. to visit the museum’s contemporary art space satellite, the Momentary (where admission is always free).

 

We look forward to greeting you this summer!