Bentonville, Ark. – Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announces the debut of Crystal Bridges at 10, which will be on view July 11 to September 27. Crystal Bridges at 10 is an immersive exhibition with 10 distinct art experiences celebrating the collection and the community one decade into the museum’s lifetime. Primarily drawing from the museum’s collection, the exhibition includes hundreds of objects organized into artist installations, thematic galleries, and unexpected juxtapositions.
“It’s exciting to see our collection come to life in a whole new way with Crystal Bridges at 10,” said Rod Bigelow, executive director and chief diversity & inclusion officer. “Since the museum opened on 11/11/11, we have welcomed nearly 5.5 million visitors from around the world. This exhibition is one way to celebrate a decade of enriching arts experiences for students, families, and our community at large. The exhibition reflects the shared journey of our collection that will surprise and delight, while compelling us to further explore the vision for the next decade and beyond.”
“In addition to highlights from our collection, the local community is an important presence in this exhibition,” said Mindy Besaw, curator, American art and director of fellowships and research. “We relied on the help of partners at the University of Arkansas as well as Finding Northwest Arkansas and local community members to realize the exhibition. Hanging alongside our collection are 24 self-portraits made by K-12 students and photographs of Community Champions.”
The Temporary Exhibition Gallery recently expanded to include an additional 2,200 square feet, now totaling 10,000 square feet of exhibition gallery space. Crystal Bridges at 10 will be the first temporary exhibition to include the additional gallery space.
“The additional space in this exhibition allows us to present the Crystal Bridges collection in engaging new ways,” said Lauren Haynes, former director of artist initiatives and curator, contemporary art at Crystal Bridges and the Momentary and newly appointed Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. “We hope visitors will be excited to interact with the artworks and artists, whether “stepping into” Winter Scene in Brooklyn, seeing Dyani White Hawk’s curated gallery of works or stopping to watch artist Ziba Rajabi create a new work of art.”
The exhibition is organized into 10 sections with immersive, unexpected installations inspired by the collection, familiar favorites and artworks on view for the first time, living artist spotlights, and a celebration of community and partnerships. The 10 sections are:
Community Champions – Inspired by Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter, which recognizes American women who worked in factories during World War II, this section features eight portraits of local Northwest Arkansas residents who contribute to the community in essential ways, such as providing medical care, teaching, cutting hair, and more. Individuals were identified by a team of partners at Finding Northwest Arkansas, Engage NWA, and Northwest Arkansas Council. Photos were taken by Brandon Watts, owner of B. Watts Photography and Studio 4seven9.
Artistic Influence: Jordan Casteel + Alice Neel – Artist Jordan Casteel reflects on the influence artist Alice Neel has on her artistic practice. The section features Neel’s Hugh Hurd (1964) in conversation with Casteel’s Ourlando (2018).
Winter Scene in Brooklyn, 1820-2021 – Using gaming technology and virtual reality software, the University of Arkansas’s Tesseract Center for Immersive Environments and Game Design worked with Crystal Bridges to transform Francis Guy’s Winter Scene in Brooklyn (1820) into a digital environment, allowing visitors to “step into” the painting and learn more about its history.
“Elemental Collections” by Mark Dion – An immersive, four-room installation organized by the four elements of air, earth, water, and fire. To create a specific mood in each space, Dion designed wallpaper and chose paint colors. Works from the museum’s collection are featured alongside objects generously loaned by the University of Arkansas Museum Collections, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Arthropod Museum, and Herbarium Collections.
Seeing Oneself – Self-portraits from the museum’s collection are displayed next to 24 self-portraits created by K-12 students from around the region. A monitor will digitally display more than 500 submissions from students across the country.
Guest Curator: Dyani White Hawk, Walking Toward US – Artist and curator Dyani White Hawk selected and arranged artworks from the Crystal Bridges collection that resonate with her own work and views. “The works featured in Walking Toward US present a wide array of lived experiences and relationships with the land base we understand as the United States,” said White Hawk. “I urge the audience to set aside the notion of governmental borders as you browse this gallery. Instead, as you visit with these works, think about life, in relationship to land, and the complex network of intertwined stories, histories, and futures we all belong to.”
Art + Nature – Developed with the museum’s Trails and Grounds team, this illuminated experience is designed to bring the outdoors inside with sounds of the forest and a changing light and color program designed by Professor Shawn Irish of the University of Arkansas Department of Theatre. Live feeds from cameras set up on the museum’s grounds frame nature alongside artworks.
The Lantern Bearers– Visitors can strike a pose and create a tableau vivant, or living picture, in a life-size stage set of guest favorite Maxfield Parrish’s The Lantern Bearers (1908). The work itself will be on view nearby with facts about the painting and more information on tableaux vivants.
Keeping It Local: Ziba Rajabi – Fayetteville, Arkansas-based artist Ziba Rajabi will create a large-scale site-specific work of art in the gallery, with scheduled time for visitors to watch her work. Rajabi’s artwork, titled Glitched Home, explores the many effects of displacement from her home country of Iran, while making a home in the US. A video featuring an interview with Rajabi will play in the space when she is not on-site.
The First Decade – The final section features works of art from the collection that either inspired past exhibitions or were acquired through them, such as State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now (2014), The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Art (2018), Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950s to Now (2018), Men of Steel, Women of Wonder (2019), and State of the Art 2020, among others.
Timed tickets are available here for $12, and admission is free for members, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants, veterans, and youth ages 18 and under. SNAP participants can call 479.657.2335 to enroll for free entry to temporary exhibitions.