Skip to main content

Crystal Bridges’ May Programming World-Renowned Author Visits, Nature-Centered Programs and Outdoor Films

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art will spring into May with a variety of events celebrating the nature and beauty of Northwest Arkansas. World-renowned author Richard Louv will kick off the month on May 9 with a talk about his latest book, which focuses on a nature-centered lifestyle. In conjunction with this program, visitors are encouraged to participate in a pre-lecture reading and discussion of The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder on May 7. Visitors are invited to discover the museum’s grounds on May 10 during an outdoor tour that will reveal a variety of plants with a tropical flair, or on May 16 for a Photo Salon with photographer Jeremy McGraw for an evening of exploring and snapping photos while on the trails. The William S. Paley Collection: A Taste for Modernism continues through July 7; beginning on April 23, visitors to the museum on Wednesday nights can enjoy free admission to the exhibition. A full listing of May programs is below. Information and registration are also available on the calendar of events on Crystal Bridges’ website.

May Public Programs

Friday, May 2, Noon to 6 pm Saturday, May 3 10 am to 6 pm Museum Store Event | Meet the Jewelry Designers Browse the latest jewelry designs from the Barbara Phillips Collection, Kate Baer Fossils, and Rae Ann Creations.  Free, no registration required. Friday, May 2, 7:30 to 10:30 pm Outdoor Movie Screening and Concert Beasts of the Southern Wild at 7:30 pm. followed by a Creole concert at 9 pm. Get outdoors and into the spirit of the Museum’s wild beauty with an outdoor screening on the South Lawn of the award-winning film Beasts of the Southern Wild, which depicts the landscape of neighboring state, Louisiana, as seen through the eyes of a six-year-old child named Hushpuppy.  After the film, stay on the South Lawn for a Notes at Night concert by Snake Eyes and the Bug Band. A cash bar and concession stand will be available.  Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome. Sponsored by Demara Titzer. Free, no registration required. Saturday, May 3, 10, and 17, 1 to 2:30 pm Children’s Class | Artists at the Beach Children ages 5 to 12 will learn about the artists in Crystal Bridges’ collection while making art inspired by their work. We will discover a new artist each week by exploring the galleries and working with a variety of art supplies in the studio. Concurrent classes are offered for two age groups (5 to 8 and 9 to 12). Cost includes three consecutive Saturdays. $45 ($36 for Members) / 3 classes. Register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335 Saturday, May 3, 8:30 to 9:30 am Yoga and Art | Mass Yoga in the Great Hall Yoga takes over the Great Hall, a peaceful setting with views of the upper pond. Yoga Story’s Cindee Joslin leads this uplifting group experience uniting the power of art with the beauty of nature. Participants should bring their own yoga mat and dress appropriately.   The Museum will be closed in the morning, so please enter through the south lobby. $5 (Free for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335 Monday, May 5, 1:30 to 2:30 pm The Great Reveal | Prang’s Album Cards Join us in turning back time with Library Director Catherine Petersen who will showcase a variety of nineteenth-century trading-card albums from the Crystal Bridges Library collection. Explore the world of Boston lithographer Louis Prang (1824 –1909). Known as the “father of the Christmas card,” Prang produced many card albums, or “scrap” albums of themed color cards that were collected, traded, and assembled in albums. These series of small chromolithographic illustrated cards included subjects ranging from history, nature, and culture, to product promotions, postcards, and holiday cards, and became a favorite Victorian pastime of children and adults alike. The Great Reveal is sponsored by John and Emily Douglas. Free with online reservations. Wednesday, May 7, 6:30 to 8 pm Pre-Lecture Book Reading | The Nature Principle by Richard Louv In preparation for Richard Louv’s upcoming lecture on Friday, May 9, join Crystal Bridges librarian Suzanne Osbourne as she leads a discussion of the transformative possibilities of the natural world as suggested in Richard Louv’s book, The Nature Principle. Topics covered will generate a lively group discussion around questions such as: How can we boost our own creativity and mental awareness by living in nature? How might our communities and economies grow when in sync with nature? In what ways can we balance our twenty-first-century virtual experiences with the natural world? Come join us in the Museum Library whether you have read the book or not! Free with online registration. Wednesday, May 7, 8 pm Tulsa Opera presents The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald’s story of love and illusion comes to life on Crystal Bridges’ Walker Landing in impressionistic tones and original songs in popular 1920’s style by composer John Harbison.  This new adaptation of the celebrated 2000 Metropolitan Opera premiere features the Tulsa Opera Studio Artists and guests in an evocative chamber production conceived by Tulsa Opera Artistic Director Kostis Protopapas and directed by Elise Sandell. Free with online registration. Thursdays, May 8, 15, and 22, 4 to 5:30 pm Afterschool Art Class | Mixed-Media Collage-making Children ages 5-12 will have fun discovering works of art in the Museum galleries and exploring the world around them through mixed-media with our engaging art instructors!  We will play and create with a wide arrange of art supplies such as recyclable materials, paint, boxes, and much more. Concurrent classes are offered for two age groups (5 to 8 and 9 to 12). Cost includes three consecutive Thursdays. $45 ($36 for Members) / 3 classes. Register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335 Thursday, May 8, 11:30 am to 2 pm Preschool Playdate | Gardens 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, beginning with a family-friendly performance in the Great Hall at 11:30 a.m. Sponsored by The Hershey Company and The Original Wet-Nap. Free, no registration required. Friday, May 9, 7 to 8 pm Keynote Lecture | Richard Louv on The Nature Principle World-renowned author and Kansas City native, Richard Louv talks about his latest book, The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder, which offers a new vision of the future in which our lives are as immersed in nature as they are in technology. He will also discuss his earlier book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder, which has stimulated an international conversation about the relationship between children and nature. Louv is the founding chairman of the Children & Nature Network at, an organization helping build the movement to connect today’s children and future generations to the natural world. The lecture will be followed by a book signing in the South Lobby. Books will be available for purchase from the Museum Store. $15 ($12 for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335 Saturday, May 10, 9 am to noon Saturday Session for Teachers | Portraits Think portraiture is boring and difficult to incorporate into your lesson? K-12 teachers are invited to discover clues to the identities of different people represented in our permanent collection. Afterward, create your own self portrait in our studios inspired by one of the works discussed. $10, register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335 Saturday, May 10, 9 to 10:30 am Discover the Grounds! |  An Ozark Tropical Garden Go off-roading into the “tropical” brush of Crystal Bridges, and find out how an Ozark hardwood forest can transform into a tropical garden. Horticulturist Cody George explores his favorite Ozark “Tropical” plants: from the Royal Fern to the Bigleaf Magnolia. Learn how you can create an Ozark tropical garden in your landscape using native plants. The talk will be followed by a guided trail tour around the Museum grounds. Meet at the Tulip Tree Shelter off the Tulip Tree Trail.  The guided tour will include a moderate incline and numerous steps. Sponsored by The Coleman Company. Free with online registration. Sunday, May 11, 4:30 to 5:30 pm Tyson Scholar Lecture | Mother Goes to the Movies:  Women, Art & Film Tyson Scholar Katherine Manthorne is Professor of American Art at the City University of New York, Graduate Center. During her time here in Arkansas she is working on a book titled You Ought to be in Pictures: Film and American Modernism, 1896-1939. Everyone flocked to the movies from the first moment they were projected onto the screen in the 1890s. But for women they had special importance. Movie theaters became places they could go out alone in public; fan magazines revealed new lifestyles, and stars like Pearl White, Mary Pickford, and Greta Garbo empowered them. Artists from Edward Hopper to Florine Stettheimer responded to movies as part of the spectacle of modern life. In this lecture we watch clips from early movies, look at paintings from the Crystal Bridges collection, and discover what happens when Mother Goes to the Movies! Free with online registration. Monday, May 12, 11 am to 12:30 pm Journaling Group | Concerning the Spiritual in Art, Writing from Wassily Kandinsky Spend the summer freeing your voice from traditional bonds through the inspirational writings of Wassily Kandinsky—known as the father of abstract art. Based on Kandinsky’s book, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, express your own personal thoughts in writing about the modern art masters in The William S. Paley Collection and the Museum’s permanent collection.  Each class will be guided by Senior Museum Educator Sara Segerlin, who will guide the group through Kandinsky’s provocative ideas on color, the natural spirit of art, and his analyses of Picasso, Matisse, and earlier masters.  Please bring paper and pencil for writing in the galleries. Free with online registration. Wednesday, May 14, 21, and 28, 1 to 2:15 pm Preschool Art Class | Night and Day 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 discover the beauty of the vibrant sun and twinkling stars. Session includes three consecutive Wednesday classes. $30 ($24 for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335 Wednesday, May 14, 6:30 to 8 pm Boundless Book Club | Eleven Days by Lea Carpenter What happens to a mother when the expectations she has for her son are not realized, but turn out to be different in every way imaginable? How much does our past decide our future path, and how much control we have over it? Sara, a free-spirited writer in Washington DC, raises her son, Jason, to be a strong and compassionate leader on The Hill. But her plans are thwarted by his own desire to join the military. Join Crystal Bridges librarian Elizabeth Bradshaw to discuss this ideologically-charged novel with present-day ties. Guests may order a glass of wine from Eleven and bring it along to the discussion. Free with online registration. Wednesday, May 14, 7 to 9 pm Film and Dance | Trey McIntyre Project (TMP) Film and SpUrban Royale Celebrate dance and nature and explore how our footprints affect it all. Begin the evening in the Great Hall for a viewing of The Sun Road, a film by Trey McIntyre commissioned to honor Glacier National Park in Montana. TMP company members will offer insight on the film experience and creative process through a post-screening discussion. Then, move to Walker Landing for a “SpUrban Royale”—spontaneous + urban group movement! TMP dancers will guide the entire group in spontaneous dancing to unify our connection to each other and Mother Nature. Special thanks to the Walton Arts Center for bringing TMP to the Museum. Sponsored by Demara Titzer. Free with online registration. Thursday, May 15, 1 pm Art Talk | John Ridge: A Portrait of Indian Removal Discuss the portrait of Cherokee tribal leader John Ridge in the Museum’s Early Nineteenth-Century Art Gallery. Learn about the history of Ridge’s family and the events leading to the Treaty of New Echota and the Trail of Tears. The talk will address Charles Bird King’s role as government portraitist of Native Americans and the story of Superintendent of Indian Affairs Thomas McKenney’s Indian Gallery, as well as aspects of Indian law, diplomacy, and representation.  The talk will be facilitated by Assistant Curator Manuela Well-Off-Man, Interpretation Manager Aaron Jones, and staff member Jay Benham, a Kiowa Elder. Free, no registration required. Friday, May 16, 7 to 9 pm Photo Salon  |  “Trail Synergy” featuring photographer Jeremy McGraw Join Global Image Creation photographer Jeremy McGraw for a creative evening of outdoor photography at Crystal Bridges. Participants will be paired with fellow photographers and tasked with exploring creative photography using one another as models as you explore the Museum grounds.  Several themed stations with studio lighting and colorful props will be set up along the trails during this fun Photo Salon. Dress for photos!  Tripods are recommended.  To learn more about photographer Jeremy McGraw, visit $10 (Free for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335 Saturday May 17, 1 pm Art Talk | A Passion for Collecting Historic Works Depicting Native Americans   Manuscript and rare-book specialist William S. Reese will talk about his passion as a collector of historic prints and paintings of Native Americans, such as Charles Bird King’s portrait of John Ridge. Reese will delve into the epic story behind Thomas L. McKenney and James Hall’s publication History of the Indian Tribes of North America (1838-1844). McKenney’s goal was to preserve a part of the American Indians’ disappearing heritage through a collection of portraits of prominent tribal leaders in a three-volume publication. Free, no registration required. Saturday, May 18, noon to 4 pm International Museum Day | Chalk Fest on Walker Landing Celebrate International Museum Day with a family outing to Crystal Bridges! Between noon and 4 p.m., guests are invited to create your own chalk drawing on Walker Landing and watch an amazing professional chalk artist at work!  All ages welcome, and all materials provided. Free, no registration required. Sunday, May 18, 1 to 5 pm Adult Workshop | Eco Art Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about Eco Art and how it connects the power and beauty of art and nature. Nichole Howard, local artist and Adjunct Instructor at University of Arkansas, Fort Smith, will lead you outdoors to the Rock Ledge Shelter and facilitate in the creation of on-site temporal art sculptures. This unique experience will take place rain or shine. Ponchos and materials provided. To earn more about instructor Nichole Howard, visit Sponsored by Demara Titzer. $55, ($44 for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335 Wednesday, May 21, 6 to 7 pm WOW  |  Wednesday Over Water Join Crystal Bridges Culinary Director Case Dighero at these monthly tasting experiences to sample selections of drinks and hors d’oeuvres from Eleven, inspired by Crystal Bridges’ collection and temporary exhibitions. Open to guests ages 21 and above. Sponsored by Premier Dermatology. $30 ($24 for Members). Purchase tickets online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335 Wednesday, May 21, 7 to 8 pm  Architecture Speaker Series | Rethinking Wright Each month, join us in the discovery of regional architecture with this new speaker series that explores the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, museum architect Moshe Safdie, and connections between their work.  For our opening night, Santiago Pérez, University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture Assistant Professor and 21st Century Chair, will discuss the styles of Wright and Safdie in conjunction with emerging new designs for the twenty-first century. $10 (Free to Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335 Saturday and Sunday, May 24 and 25, 10 am to 6 pm Monday, May 26, 10:30 am to 6 pm Museum Store Event | Pottery Throwing Demonstration with Jim Young An award winning potter and member of the Arkansas Craft Guild, Jim young has been a stoneware potter for more than 40 years, and a pottery teacher for 38 years. Jim’s work is influenced by travels in Europe, Latin America, and Asia, as well as his beloved Ozark Mountains. Come meet Jim and watch as he demonstrates his pottery throwing techniques. Free, no registration required. Saturday, May 24, noon to 3 pm Drop-In Art Making | Drip N’ Draw Drop in anytime between noon and 3 p.m. for a free, guided studio session.  Switch out a pencil for straws, eyedroppers, and watercolors to create fun, exciting drawings. Materials are provided and all ages are welcome! Free, no registration required. Sunday, May 25, 1 to 4 pm Drop-In Drawing Drop in anytime for a free, informal drawing session. Materials are provided and an art instructor will be on hand to get you started. Check at Guest Services for the specific location. All ages are welcome! Free, no registration required. Wednesday, May 28, 5 to 9 pm Artinfusion @ Culture Hour Artinfusion Members are invited to come together on the fourth Wednesday of each month to meet and mingle during Culture Hour in Eleven.  Enjoy great company and special $5 drinks and appetizers for artinfusion Members (with proof of membership) until 9 p.m.! We’ll reserve a seating area especially for artinfusion members and their guests. Wednesday, May 28, sunset Skyspace Discussion Enjoy a facilitated discussion of James Turrell’s Skyspace The Way of Color, led by a Museum Guide.  Free, no registration required. Seating is first-come, first-served. Friday, May 30, 8:30 to 10 pm Outdoor Film Screening |  We Shall Remain (Trail of Tears Assistant Curator Manuela Well-Off-Man will introduce this powerful documentary, as this film relates to our Native American collection. Part of the award-winning series We Shall Remain, directed by Chris Eyre, Trail of Tears will open up your perspective on works in Crystal Bridges’ historical collection. For many years, the Cherokee Nation sought to gain respect from the United States Government by adapting Western-style religion, government, and education in hopes of maintaining their ancestral land and receiving recognition as a sovereign nation. On May 26, 1838, the US Government sent troops to forcibly remove members of the Cherokee tribe from their land in the Southeastern US to Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma. More than 4,000 people perished of disease and starvation along the route of the Trail of Tears. Sponsored by Demara Titzer. Free, no registration required.