Skip to main content

Crystal Bridges Announces the Summer of Art, Nature, and Color in the Forest, Galleries, and Beyond

Bentonville, Ark. – This summer, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art explores art, nature, color, and more with two exhibitions—Color Field in the forest and Nature’s Nation in the galleries—new Chihuly acquisitions, the return of the Forest Concert Series, a new artmaking studio space, a traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and more. To see a complete list of summer offerings, visit the Summer at Crystal Bridges page.

Summer exhibitions tickets include Nature’s Nation and Color Field and are $16 between June 1 and September 9. Nature’s Nation tickets will be $12 from May 25-31, and Color Field tickets will be $12 from September 11-30. Both exhibitions are free for members, youth ages 18 and under, and veterans.

Nature’s Nation
May 25 to September 9, 2019

Valerie Hegarty, Fallen Bierstadt, 2007, Foamcore, paint, paper, glue, gel medium, canvas, wire, wood.Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Campari, USA 2008.9a-b. © Valerie Hegarty., Courtesy of the artist and Guild & Greyshkul, NY., Photo: Brooklyn Museum

Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment is a new exhibition developed by Princeton University Art Museum that examines American artists’ impact on shaping environmental understanding and stewardship. Featuring 100 artworks from 70 eminent US collections, this exhibition traces 300 years of evolving ideas about the natural world and our place within it. The paintings, photographs, and sculptures in this exhibition compel us to consider our relationship to the environment and the human impact on the planet.

“The breadth of this exhibition makes for a compelling way to see nature from the perspective of artists and art history,” said Mindy Besaw, curator at Crystal Bridges. “This exhibition is coming to us at a time when conversations about the environment are more important than ever. We hope that visitors will walk away from this exhibition with a deeper understanding of their relationship with nature and a desire to be stewards of our world.”

Artists featured in this exhibition include Albert Bierstadt, Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles Willson Peale, Thomas Moran, Dorothea Lange, John James Audubon, Ansel Adams, Alexis Rockman, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Valerie Hegarty, Walton Ford, Ana Mendieta, Postcommodity, and more. Several Indigenous artists who were featured in Crystal Bridges’ 2018 exhibition Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950s to Now are also featured in Nature’s Nation, including Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Kent Monkman, and Cannupa Hanska Luger.

Nature’s Nation was on view at Princeton University Art Museum from October 13, 2018-January 6, 2019. It is currently at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA (from February 2-May 5, 2019) and will conclude its tour at Crystal Bridges. Nature’s Nation opens to the public on May 25 with a member preview on Friday, May 24 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Color Field
June 1 to September 30, 2019

Color Field

Spencer Finch, Back to Kansas, 2015, 130 x 186 in. (bottom of artwork is 60 inches from the ground), Collection of Christian Keesee, New York and Oklahoma

Color Field is an outdoor sculpture exhibition developed by Crystal Bridges associate curator of contemporary art Allison Glenn featuring artists that employ lush colors and enlarged forms against the backdrop of the museum’s North Forest and select locations in the museum. Artists featured in the exhibition include Claire Helen Ashley, Sarah Braman, Jeffie Brewer, Assaf Evron, Sam Falls, Spencer Finch, Typoe Gran, Odili Donald Odita, Amanda Ross-Ho, and Jessica Stockholder.

Color Field invites visitors to interact with several of the sculptures. Sam Falls’s Untitled (Wind Chimes) consists of large, colorful chimes that visitors can move to activate sound. Odili Donald Odita is debuting a new work created specifically for this exhibition, called Negative Space, which consists of an installation of thirteen flags on twenty-foot flag poles, installed over a path so that visitors can walk underneath them. The design of the flags includes colors of the American flag, juxtaposed with the complementary colors of green, orange, and black. Claire Helen Ashley’s large, inflatable sculptures that invite viewers to lightly touch them will be located in the Contemporary Art Gallery Courtyard and a corresponding corridor.

The exhibition’s title is a play on the color field style of painting, a form of abstraction that relies heavily on color and surfaces devoid of representation. There are several examples of this painting style that can be found in Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection including artworks by Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Mark Rothko, Alma Thomas, James Turrell, Sam Gilliam, Donald Judd, and more.

“Color Field embraces the intersection of art, architecture, and nature, inviting visitors to engage with outdoor sculpture in a new and exciting ways,” said Allison Glenn, Crystal Bridges associate curator of contemporary art. “This exhibition will also connect with works in our permanent collection, allowing visitors to dynamically learn about color field painting and color theory across the museum campus”

2019 Forest Concert Series

Crystal Bridges is excited to announce the 2019 Forest Concert Series lineup. This summer, the North Forest will be host to a concert every Saturday at 7 p.m. between June 1 and July 27 on the Coca-Cola Stage. Tickets are $12 general admission ($10 for members), free for youth ages 18 and younger. Forest Concert tickets are available.

  • Yarn & The Vine Brothers
    Saturday, June 1, 7 to 9:30 pm
    Yarn, a Brooklyn-based, North Carolina-raised band fusing Americana and Alt-Country music, will awaken the forest with toe-tapping jams.
  • Dawson Hollow
    Saturday, June 8, 7 to 9:30 pm
    Missouri native Dawson Hollow is an indie-folk, Americana band based out of the Ozark Mountains.
  • The Werks & Friends of the Phamily
    Saturday, June 15, 7 to 9:30 pm
    The Spaceberry Festival in Eureka Springs brings popular band, The Werks and Northwest Arkansas’ Grateful Dead cover band, Friends of the Phamily to the North Forest.
  • Arkansauce & Delta Blues Musicians
    Saturday, June 22, 7 to 9:30 pm
    Arkansauce is a genre-hopping, four piece string band from northwest Arkansas, bending the rules and blurring the lines between bluegrass, newgrass, folk, americana, country, blues, and funk.
  • Black Pumas
    Saturday, June 29, 7 to 9:30 pm
    Austin’s hottest new band, Black Pumas, is a beat-heavy soul band playing a mix of soul, folk, and R&B hits to soothe your soul and keep the rhythm alive in the forest.
  • Audiopharmacy
    Saturday, July 6, 7 to 9:30 pm
    Audiopharmacy, a Bay Area-based live music ensemble that uses globally infused Indigenous hip-hop to inspire social change, will keep the concert on its feet.
  • Flor De Toloache
    Saturday, July 13, 7 to 9:30 pm
    New York City’s first all-women mariachi band Flor de Toloache continue to win the hearts of music fans both mainstream and traditional mariachi fans alike.
  • Big Chief Juan Pardo and the Golden Comanche Mardi Gras Indians
    Saturday, July 20, 7 to 9:30 pm
    Big Chief Juan Pardo, a Mardi Gras Indian from New Orleans, will bring a soulful Mardi Gras party combining combines chant, ritual, and New Orleans funk to the stage.
  • Fayetteville Roots Festival Showcase
    Saturday, July 27, 7 to 9:30 pm
    Join us for an evening of roots, indie, and folk music from bands typically seen at the Fayetteville Roots Festival. The evening’s performances will be curated by Brian Hembree, co-founder of the festival.

New Chihuly Acquisitions


Dale Chihuly, Fiori Boat, 2016, 6 x 22½ x 12′, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, installed 2017 © Chihuly

Crystal Bridges has acquired five Chihuly artworks that were seen in the popular 2017 exhibitionChihuly: In the Gallery and In the Forest, including Azure Icicle Chandelier, Sole d’Oro, Fiori Boat, Nijima Floats, and Turquoise Reeds and Ozark Fiori. All five artworks will be on display throughout the museum and grounds this summer for visitors to enjoy.

“I am honored that my work will be included in the permanent collection of this important American institution,” said artist, Dale Chihuly. “The museum, designed by architect Moshe Safdie, and the surrounding natural environment are wonderful settings in which to experience the work of American artists, and I am proud to be featured among them.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Chihuly back to the museum on a permanent basis, as the 2017 exhibition was visited by over 200,000 people,” said Lauren Haynes, curator of contemporary art at Crystal Bridges. “We anticipate that these artworks will be popular with our visitors as they only serve to enhance the quality and wide range of offerings of our sculpture collection at Crystal Bridges.”

The Studio
The Experience Art Studio, located off Walker Landing and the North Exhibition Gallery, is getting a brand new look this summer. The new space will be renamed the Studio and will still include popular features such as the puppet theater and tables for artmaking, but will be larger and opened up with windows to the adjoining art studio, offering artmaking opportunities with a refreshed look and new materials. The space is themed around art and nature, as colorful forest animals will adorn the walls and fixtures and “art totes” filled with artmaking activities will be available for check-out in the space. The Studio closed on April 1 and will reopen Memorial Day weekend.  It will be free and open to visitors of any age who are interested in artmaking. While the Studio is being refreshed, families and kids can pick up a Family Guide from guest services or join for Drop-In Artmaking (1–4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday).

The Wall That Heals

May 23-27
During Memorial Day weekend and in collaboration with Downtown Bentonville Inc., Crystal Bridges will host The Wall That Heals, a three-quarter-scale traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC. Like the original memorial, The Wall That Heals is erected in a chevron shape and consists of 58, 318 names, allowing visitors to create name rubbings of individual service members. It has traveled to over 600 cities.

The Wall That Heals also comes with a mobile Education Center featuring a timeline of the Vietnam War and other interactive displays. The replica will be free and open to the public 24 hours/day beginning at 12:00 a.m. on May 23 and closing at 1:00 p.m. on May 27. The Wall will be located in Buckyball Field near the entrance of the museum. For more information, visit theDBI website.

Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment has been organized by the Princeton University Art Museum. Leadership support has been provided by Shelly and Tony Malkin; Annette Merle-Smith; the Henry Luce Foundation; and the National Endowment for the Arts. This project is supported in part by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Nature’s Nation is sponsored by Coca-Cola, Cox Communications, Harriet and Warren Stephens, Stephens Inc., The Harrison and Rhonda French Family, Jim and Susan von Gremp, Galen, Debi, and Alice Havner, and Adam D. Stolpen.

About Crystal Bridges
The mission of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is to welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature. Since opening in 2011, the museum has welcomed 4.2 million visitors, with no cost for admission. The collection spans five centuries of American masterworks from colonial to current day and is enhanced by temporary exhibitions. The museum is nestled on 120 acres of Ozark landscape and was designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. A rare Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house was preserved and relocated to the museum grounds in 2015. Crystal Bridges offers public programs including lectures, performances, classes, and teacher development opportunities. Some 240,000 school children have participated in the Willard and Pat Walker School Visit program, which provides educational experiences for school groups at no cost to the schools. Additional museum amenities include a restaurant, gift store, library, and 4 miles of art and walking trails. For more information, visit  The museum is located at 600 Museum Way, Bentonville, Arkansas 72712.