Unlocking the Artistic Wonders of Northwest Arkansas: Crystal Bridges and The Momentary

gallery in Crystal Bridges

Nestled in the heart of Northwest Arkansas, a region celebrated for its breathtaking natural beauty, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has been captivating art enthusiasts for over a decade. In 2009, this renowned institution made waves in the art world by gracing the community with its exceptional collection, merging inspiration with accessibility. Fast forward to the present, as we celebrate The Momentary’s fourth birthday next month, and the artistic legacy continues to flourish.

Jenn recently had the privilege of conversing with Amanda Horn, the Senior Director of Public Relations at both Crystal Bridges and The Momentary. This interview delves into the rich tapestry of art and culture that these institutions bring to the region.

Northwest Arkansas is a treasure trove of artistry and natural splendor, a harmonious blend of scenic wonders and intentional creativity. For the past thirteen years, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has redefined the artistic landscape by gracing the community with its world-class collection, democratizing inspiration, and seamlessly integrating art into the local tapestry. As The Momentary prepares to mark its fourth anniversary next month, the artistic celebration continues.

In a recent interview, Jenn sat down with Amanda Horn, the Senior Director of Public Relations at both Crystal Bridges and The Momentary, to delve into the world of art and culture that these institutions cultivate. “One of the things that we are always thinking about at Crystal Bridges and The Momentary is how we take the themes that one experiences in the galleries out into the community at large,” Horn noted.

With the unveiling of “Annie Leibowitz At Work,” Crystal Bridges has taken a bold step towards this vision. While the museum has welcomed hordes of young students and adults, this time, teenagers were not merely spectators but active participants in the educational process, with their work becoming an integral part of the exhibit. The Photography Mentorship Program commenced with an early morning session where students had the privilege of learning directly from the legendary Annie Leibowitz herself, all at 8 a.m. on a Saturday. The Springdale Public Schools’ media team documented the entire program, creating a captivating mini-documentary about this unique experience, set to be available online soon. “Annie Leibowitz At Work” featuring the teen exhibition is on display until January 29th.

Looking ahead, Crystal Bridges is gearing up for “Exquisite Creatures” by Christopher Marley, an enthralling fusion of art, nature, and science. Opening on March 26th, this exhibition promises to be a visual feast, showcasing animal, mineral, and plant specimens. For young adventurers, “Creature Fest” is set to kick off during Spring Break, offering a host of activities focused on bugs and creatures along the trails and grounds. Additionally, a new and immersive experience is on the horizon, slated for North Forrest next fall, courtesy of Clip Collective. This nighttime light and sound immersion is poised to leave a lasting impression on all who partake.

colorful cocktails being made at The Tower Bar at The Momentary

The Momentary, Crystal Bridges’ contemporary sibling, finds its home in a former cheese factory. In recent years, they’ve embraced an opportunity to make the space more inviting, encouraging visitors to explore throughout the week. Complementing the vibrant art scene, they’ve introduced comfortable lounging areas and greenery. “Onyx,” a unique addition, is thriving, and “The Tower Bar” now welcomes the public all day, every day, offering stellar cocktails with even more breathtaking views.

Presently, The Momentary plays host to “Enduring the Amazon,” a multi-artist, multi-sensory exhibit that immerses visitors in the wonders of the Amazon rainforest. This thought-provoking exhibition invites viewers to contemplate their connection with the Amazon, the rainforest, and their inner selves.

Three musicians performing at The Momentary with blue stage lights.

Not content with their already impressive roster of events, The Momentary is rolling out even more in 2024. The “Indoor Rode House Series” is set to feature 14 shows, promising an unforgettable musical experience. Additionally, “Momentus,” a one-day electronic music festival, is on the horizon, further solidifying Northwest Arkansas as a destination for music enthusiasts, complementing its status as a hub for visual arts and outdoor beauty.

Amanda sums it up perfectly, saying, “We want Northwest Arkansas to be known as a destination for music as much as it is for the visual arts and the outdoors.”

A heartfelt thank you to Amanda and the dedicated teams at Crystal Bridges and The Momentary for their unwavering commitment to enriching the community through art and culture. As we explore the wonders of the world, it’s reassuring to know that there truly is no place like home.

For those eager to stay informed and engaged, consider a museum membership. You can follow Crystal Bridges and The Momentary on Instagram for the latest updates and inspirations.

Experience the vibrant art and culture of Northwest Arkansas with Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and The Momentary. Explore captivating exhibitions and connect with the local community. The best way to stay informed and in the know is through museum membership. You can find Crystal Bridges and The Momentary on Instagram here and here.