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Crystal Bridges’ February Programming: Valentine’s activities, classes, lectures, and opening of Van Gogh to Rothko

Bentonville, Ark.- Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art offers a Valentine’s-themed Family Sunday, the third annual Black Hearts Ball, art talks, and workshops, as well as the much-anticipated opening of Van Gogh to Rothko: Masterworks from the Albright Knox Art Gallery.


Van Gogh to Rothko brings together 76 artworks by more than 73 influential artists from the late 19th century to the present, featuring masterpieces by some of the most prominent names in art history including Vincent van Gogh, Jackson Pollock, Joán Miró, Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko, and Willem de Kooning. The works were selected from the collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, one of the finest collections of twentieth-century art in the country, located in Buffalo, NY. A special exhibition tour, Exploring Abstract Expressionism in Van Gogh to Rothko, will be offered Thursday at 1 pm, February 26 through May 28, 2015.

A full listing of February programs is below.  Information and registration are also available on the calendar of events on Crystal Bridges’ website. Sign up for Crystal Bridges email updates at ENewsletter.

Wednesday February 4, 1 to 3 pm Homeschool Tour and Art-Making Join fellow homeschool families for an afternoon of art and exploration at the Museum.  The program will include guided tours of the collection and a curriculum-based art-making activity connected to the works viewed in the galleries. All materials are provided. Free, no registration required.

Wednesdays, February 4, 11, and 18, 1 to 2:15 pm Preschool Art Class » People (For ages 3 to 5 with an adult.) Parents or caregivers participate with their preschoolers in gallery conversations and art-making activities each week to explore diverse presentations of people in works from the permanent collection. Session includes three consecutive Wednesday classes. All materials are provided.  $30 ($24 for Members) for 3 classes, register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.

Wednesdays, February 4, 11, 18, and 25, March 4, and 11, 6 to 8:30 pm Studio Studies » Introduction to Encaustics Learn the art of encaustic, or hot wax, painting with local artist Stephanie Green in this six-week studio studies series.  Discover encaustic works in our permanent and temporary exhibitions while you become versed in the basics of materials, studio safety, and techniques of wax painting.  Open to all experience levels, all materials are provided. $200 ($160 for Members) for 6 classes, register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.

Friday, February 6, 7 to 9 pm Film » Herb & Dorothy 50 x 50 Developed as the follow-up film to Megumi Sasaki’s award-winning documentary Herb & Dorothy, (2008) that moved millions of art-lovers worldwide. Herb and Dorothy Vogel are known and loved as a retired postal worker (Herb) and librarian (Dorothy) who built a world-class art collection on their humble salaries.  Herb & Dorothy 50 X 50 captures the last chapter of their extraordinary gift to the nation. In 1992, the Vogels made headlines when they transferred their entire art collection to NGA, the majority as a gift. By 2008, the collection had grown to nearly 5,000 pieces, too large for any one museum to contain. As a solution, a national gift project titled The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States was conceived.  The film takes the audience on a journey across the US to eleven recipient museums, from Honolulu to Fargo, meeting curators and visitors, and introduces famous (often controversial) artists, as well as lesser-known favorites of Herb and Dorothy. Sponsored by Demara Titzer and Fayetteville Legacy Condominiums. Free with online registration.

Saturday, February 7, 9 am to 1 pm Saturday Session for Teachers » Recording Modern Experience About 1900, Robert Henri and the artists known as the Ashcan School began to portray the seamier side of New York life, current events, and the era’s social and political rhetoric in their paintings. Artists today are still challenging viewers to confront some of the same themes in their work. In this workshop we will compare portrayals of modern life from the 1900s and today, and will explore ways to engage students in current events in both their writing and art. Four hours of PD credit will be awarded. All materials are provided.$10, register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.

Saturday, February 7, 10 am to 6 pm Museum Store » Featured Artisan Kate Baer Kate Baer’s designs feature impressions of Arkansas fossils, which serve as reminders of our physical impermanence and as inspiration to live a life of meaning and spirit. All of her fossils are crafted of fine silver or 22kt gold mixed with precious and semi-precious gemstones. The fingerprint on the back of each piece is an indicator of the handmade nature of Kate Baer jewelry.  Select the perfect piece of jewelry for that special someone for Valentine’s Day.

Sunday, February 8, noon to 5 pm Family Sunday »  I Art Get ready for Valentine’s day at our third annual I Art celebration with music, art-making, and more! Sponsored by Rockline Industries.Free, no registration required.

Sunday, February 8, noon to 5 pm Member Lounge at Family Sunday Members and their families are invited to drop in the Member Lounge during Family Sunday. Members will enjoy the build-your-own hot chocolate bar and snacks in the Member Lounge.

Free for Members, no registration required.

Sunday, February 8, 5 to 6 pm Architecture Speaker Series » Critic and Book Author Sarah Goldhagen Hear from architecture critic Sarah Goldhagen, who is deeply committed to helping people develop their own critical understanding of built environments and urban design. In her presentation will give us tools for looking at how the design of buildings in public spaces shapes the individual and the collective, our private and social lives. As she is featured in Global Citizen, the book about Moshe Safdie’s work and career, Goldhagen will especially focus on her commentary on Safdie’s design, as well as Crystal Bridges’ acquisition of the Frank Lloyd Wright home. Goldhagen is the author of Louis Kahn’s Situated Modernism, and has written for the New Republic, Design Observer, The New York Times, and many other leading publications.  She served for 10 years as a professor for Harvard Graduate School of Design, as well as at Wellesley College, Vassar College, and the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin. $10 (Free for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.

Monday, February 9, 1 to 2 pm Art Talk » Tyson Scholar Lacey Baradel Meet Tyson Scholar Lacey Baradel who is fascinated by the artist Eastman Johnson. In her current book project, Baradel pays close attention to Johnson’s visual tensions between mobility and domesticity. The book traces the emergence of geographic mobility as a central theme for genre artists commenting on modern life in the United States post-Civil War. Free, no registration required.

Wednesday, February 11, 6 to 7 pm WOW » Broken Art:  Tales of Love Lost in Art and Cuisine Please join Crystal Bridges Culinary Director Case Dighero along with special guests as they discuss romantic images throughout the Crystal Bridges permanent collection…and the inspiration they provide to the cuisine of Eleven.  Open to guests ages 21 and above. Sponsored by Premier Dermatology. $30 ($24 for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335

Wednesday, February 11, 6 to 8 pm Educator Event » Unveiling the Mysteries of the Art Library Join Library Director Catherine Petersen for a guided tour of the Crystal Bridges library plus helpful advice on how to use the library for research. Two hours of PD credit will be awarded. $10, register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.

Thursday, February 12, 11:30 am to 2 pm Preschool Playdate:  Sweethearts Monthly Preschool Playdates feature performances, art projects, story time, and creative play based on themes from our collection. Activities are geared for children ages 2 to 5 with an adult, and begin with a live performance in the Great Hall at 11:30 a.m.  Sponsored by The Hershey Company and The Original Wet-Nap. Free, no registration required.      

February 13, 20, and 27, 2 to 3:30 pm Homeschool Friday Fun! » Environments (For ages 5 to 8 and 9-12) How does environment influence life?  Discover the variety of environments that artists portray in works in our current temporary exhibitions as well as our permanent collection and create your own artwork in response. All materials are provided. $45/3 classes ($36 for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.

Friday, February 13, 6:30 to 8:30 pm TEN  »  BYOBB Movie Night “Bring Your Own Bean Bag” (or don’t) for our first teen movie night.  We’re screening Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson’s brilliant and funny tale of two 12-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. Popcorn provided! Organized by Crystal Bridges’ Teen Council for area high school students. Free, no registration required.

Friday, February 13, 6:30 to 8:30 pm Family Workshop » “You Can Fly” Songwriting Workshop Bring the entire family to this collaborative songwriting workshop with a local singer-songwriter from the I’ll Fly Away Foundation.  With the guidance of the musician instructor, participants will use a work from the Crystal Bridges collection as inspiration for writing a song together.  Work as a team to write this art-inspired song line by line.  After the song is written, the group will determine the rhythm and tempo of the music.  The instructor will bring a guitar to perform the song at the end of the class with the vocal assistance of the participants. $10 (Free for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.

Saturdays, February 14, 21, and 28, 10:30 am to noon Young Artists Class » Model and Mold (For ages 5 to 10) Test your hand at sculpture in this three-part class series!  Examine the various ways that artists use three dimensions in both our permanent collection and the Van Gogh to Rothko exhibition.  Projects will introduce sculptural media and processes inspired by gallery visits. All materials are provided. $45/3 classes ($36 for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.

Saturday, February 14, 8 to 11 pm Artinfusion Black Hearts Ball Crystal Bridges artinfusion Members and guests are invited to the third annual Black Hearts Ball. Just like that bad ex that you keep going back to, the Black Hearts Ball returns to taunt you yet again. Soothe your jaded heart with seductive tunes spun by DJ Abboriginal. Feed your grudge with comfort cuisine prepared by Eleven’s chefs. And after the ball, wash away your sorrows at the after party hosted by The Hive. The anti-Valentine’s Day fun is reserved for ages 21 and up (ID required for entry). Artinfusion is sponsored by RopeSwing and Blue Moon Brewing Company.Free for artinfusion Members, $25 for guests. Registration is required. Register online or by calling the Member Priority Line 479.418.5728.

Sunday, February 15, 1 to 5 pm Adult Workshop » The Fine Art of Floral Arranging with Jana Mayfield. Bring floral arranging into your artistic repertoire as an expressive response to a work from our permanent collection.  Jana Mayfield, floral designer, artist, and master gardener, will introduce botanical arrangement as an artistic medium. Gain a new appreciation of a select work from our galleries by creating your own basic floral design under Mayfield’s guidance. All materials are provided. $55 (44 for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.

Sunday, February 15, 4 to 5:30 pm Spotlight Lecture Series » Pat Musick and Jerry Carr Meet the artists who created the outdoor installation A Place Where They Cried on Crystal Bridges’ grounds.  The lecture is schedule in collaboration with the artists’ exhibition, Our Fragile Home, at Walton Arts Center. Pat Musick and her astronaut husband, Jerry Carr, were inspired to create this exhibition of sculpture and works on paper by words that astronauts and cosmonauts have used when they looked down at the earth for the first time. Following the lecture, Carr and Musick will be available to sign copies of their book, Stone Songs on the Trail of Tears: Journey of an Installation. The book will be available for purchase from the Museum Store. Free with online registration.

Wednesdays, February 18, 25, and March 4, 7 to 8:30 pm Intro to Art » Be Your Own Art Critic Develop your inner art critic through our Introduction to Art series guided by Curator Chad Alligood. Learn how to look closely at works of art, evaluate them for content and quality, and compare and contrast different artistic approaches.  We will consider important critics in history, from Denis Diderot to John Ruskin to Clement Greenberg and beyond, alongside the works of art they championed and disparaged. $20 (Free for Members) for 3 sessions, register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.

Friday, February 20, 9 am to 9 pm Members-only preview of Van Gogh to Rothko Crystal Bridges Members are invited to a Members-only Preview of Van Gogh to Rothko: Masterworks from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Free with registration online or by calling the Member Priority Line 479.418.5728.

Friday, February 20, 5:30 to 7:30 pm Teacher Preview Night: Van Gogh to Rothko Join fellow educators on a walk-through of the new exhibition, Van Gogh to Rothko, to discuss themes and ideas for how the exhibition can be used to enhance your classroom practice. Museum educators will be on hand to answer questions and conduct tour registrations for school groups.

Free with online registration.

Friday, February 20, 7 to 9 pm Lecture » Doug Dreishpoon, Chief Curator Emeritus of the Albright Knox Gallery Meet Chief Curator Emeritus of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Doug Dreishpoon, who led the development of the Van Gogh to Rothko exhibition from the Albright-Knox’s original exhibition, The Long Curve: 150 Years of Visionary Collecting at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery ($2011). Dreishpoon is known for his brilliant and dream-like articulation on contemporary art and contemporary culture.  Albright-Knox’s Director, Janne Sirén, remarked that Dreishpoon’s “intellectual contribution to the development of the Albright-Knox’s internationally renowned collection over the past 16 years is extraordinary. He has played a key role in identifying hundreds of masterpieces that now are a part of one of the finest ensembles of modern and contemporary art in the world.” Free with online registration.

Saturday, February 21, 9 to 10 am Members-only Preview of Van Gogh to Rothko Crystal Bridges Members are invited to a Members-only Preview of Van Gogh to Rothko: Masterworks from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.Free with registration online or by calling the Member Priority Line 479.418.5728.

Saturday, February 21, 1 to 4 pm Drop-In Art Making » Petite Pollocks Splatter paint onto a mini canvas to create your own petite Pollock masterpiece!  Drop in at the museum studios to try out small-scale action painting. All materials are provided. Free, no registration required.

Sunday, February 22, 1 to 4 pm Drop-In Drawing » Reflections on Color Meet an art instructor for an informal drawing session reflecting on color from a work in the permanent collection or in the temporary exhibition Van Gogh to Rothko.  Drawing materials will be provided and an instructor will be available to assist you.  All ages are welcome to drop in!  Check at Guest Services for the specific location. Free, no registration required.

Monday, February 23, 1 to 2 pm The Great Reveal » Frank Lloyd Wright Books from Dr. Kirk Dandridge In anticipation of the completion of the Bachman Wilson House installation on Crystal Bridges’ grounds, join us for a special close-up and passionate look at two beautiful portfolios of Frank Lloyd Wright drawings gifted to the Museum Library by Dr. Kirk Dandridge. Dr. Dandridge is a retired surgeon and architecture buff and a treasured volunteer in Crystal Bridges’ Library.  He has been an avid fan of Frank Lloyd Wright and his architecture since he was a teenager. The two books are: Buildings: Plans and Designs , a limited-edition publication of 2,500 copies; the three-volume Frank Lloyd Wright: Selected Drawings Portfolio; and Portfolio of Buildings, Plans, and Designs, Horizon Press, New York, a 1963 reprint of the Wasmuth Portfolio. Both are large “elephant” portfolios and contain drawings of Wright’s buildings along with the architectural plans. Free with online registration.

Wednesday, February 25, 5 to 9 pm artinfusion @ Culture Hour Get together with artinfusion Members and friends at a special Culture Hour just for you!

Artinfusion Members and friends are invited to come together on the fourth Wednesday of each month to meet and mingle during Culture Hour in Eleven. Enjoy networking, complimentary nosh, and $5 drink specials in Eleven, then stroll the galleries while they are open late. Culture Hour special pricing typically ends at 7 pm, but on these fourth Wednesdays we extend the deals for artinfusion Members (with proof of membership) until 9 pm. Bring a friend! Artinfusion is especially for Crystal Bridges Members ages 21 to 40s. Sponsored by Blue Moon Brewing Company and RopeSwing. Free, no registration required.

Wednesday, February 25, 6 to 7 pm Boundless Book Club » Between Meals: An Appetite for Paris, by  A. J. Liebling Liebling was a longtime staff writer for The New Yorker. Although he could write as well as any novelist, he chose to remain a journalist and he was the very best. He liked to say that he could write better than anyone who could write faster, and faster than anyone who could write better. James Salter says: “Though not a novel it has a novel’s grip—there is dialogue, character, description, and the unmistakable signature of a real writer: an entire book thrown away on nearly every page.” If you have ever lived in Paris on a limited budget and unlimited desire (or wished to), his writing will speak to you. Free with online registration.

Wednesday, February 25, 7 to 9 pm Live Arts » RED theater performance RED, a play about Mark Rothko, comes to Crystal Bridges, performed by local theater artist Mark Landon Smith. RED weaves through the challenges and triumphs in Rothko’s studio during the artist’s two-year struggle to complete a set of murals for Manhattan’s Four Seasons restaurant. When Rothko’s raw assistant expresses an opinion and challenges his employer’s work, the artist is forced to reevaluate and come to terms with his own concepts and designs.  The play provides the viewer with a rare glimpse at the complex relationship between an artist and his assistant. $10 ($8 for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.

Saturday, February 28, 1 to 2 pm Art Talk » Masters of Color: Van Gogh to Rothko Curator Manuela Well-Off-Man will discuss the innovative use of color in three works in the exhibition Van Gogh to Rothko. The talk will cover Vincent van Gogh’s new approach of freeing color from a merely descriptive function and his use of unusual (non-natural colors) for objects; Wassily Kandinsky’s use of color and line as expressive subject matter and his emphasis on intuition and abstraction; and Mark Rothko’s intention to evoke basic human emotions through color in his large colorfield paintings. Free, no registration required.

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. We explore the unfolding story of America by actively collecting, exhibiting, interpreting, and preserving outstanding works that illuminate our heritage and artistic possibilities.

Opened to the public on 11-11-11, Crystal Bridges was founded in 2005 by the Walton Family Foundation as a nonprofit charitable organization for all to enjoy. Philanthropist and arts patron Alice Walton chairs the Museum’s board of directors. Since its opening, the Museum has welcomed nearly 1.6 million visitors, and garnered more than 8,000 households in its membership. Some 74,000 school children have participated in the Museum’s Willard and Pat Walker School Visit program, which provides educational experiences for school groups at no cost to the schools. More than 220,000 visitors a year utilize the Museum’s 3.5 miles of walking trails.

Crystal Bridges takes its name from a nearby natural spring and the bridge construction incorporated in the building, designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. A series of pavilions nestled around two spring-fed ponds house galleries, meeting and classroom spaces, and a large, glass-enclosed gathering hall. Guest amenities include a restaurant on a glass-enclosed bridge overlooking the ponds, Museum Store designed by architect Marlon Blackwell, and a library featuring more than 50,000 volumes of art reference material. Sculpture and walking trails link the Museum’s 120-acre park to downtown Bentonville, Arkansas.

Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection spans five centuries of American masterworks ranging from the Colonial era to the current day. Included within the collection are iconic images such as Asher B. Durand’s Kindred Spirits, Norman Rockwell’s  Rosie the Riveter, and Andy Warhol’s Coca-Cola [3]— each reflecting a distinct moment in American artistic evolution—as well as major works by modern and contemporary American artists, including Georgia O’Keeffe, John Baldessari, and James Turrell. The permanent collection, which continues to grow through a strategic acquisition plan, is on view year-round and is enhanced by an array of temporary exhibitions, which were viewed by some 242,000 visitors in 2014.

Crystal Bridges provides year-round programming for all ages. In 2014, more than 500 public programs were offered, including lectures, performances, classes, and continuing education for K-12 teachers. An award-winning app, available free for both Apple and Android devices, features audio tours of current and past exhibitions, and many of the Museum’s lectures and gallery talks are available in Crystal Bridges’ iTunes U site. A new initiative to develop high-quality distance-learning opportunities for students and teachers begins this year.

Crystal Bridges also offers two research fellowship programs. The Tyson Scholars in American Art program supports full-time scholarship in the history of American art. The Reese Teacher Fellowship provides for research into the development of interdisciplinary connections between American art and core curriculum subjects of language arts, history, social studies, and the sciences. Additional information about Crystal Bridges is available online at

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