This post is sponsored by Crystal Bridges Museum, but all opinions are my own. Posts like this make Thrifty Pineapple possible.
On June 1st Crystal Bridges kicked off their summer series which includes awesome events like concerts, exclusive exhibits and more. Jared and I had the pleasure of experiencing all of the fun events. We love Crystal Bridges and are frequent guests to the museum, so it was fun to explore and get a first look at some of the cool things happening this season. We take all of our family and friends who come and visit here because it’s one of our favorite places in Northwest Arkansas.
Here’s a closer look at summer events at Crystal Bridges this year!
What is Crystal Bridges?
Crystal Bridges was founded in 2005 by philanthropist and arts patron Alice Walton (yes, as in the Waltons of Wal-Mart) as a nonprofit charitable organization. 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 — 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 best part is there is NO COST to view the museum’s permanent collection, which is on view year-round. General admission to Crystal Bridges is always FREE, and is sponsored by Walmart.
Along with the permanent collection, Crystal Bridges features a restaurant, 120-acres of walking trails with 4 miles of walking or biking trails, interactive education areas of kids and families, and temporary exhibitions.
Summer Events at Crystal Bridges
Color Field is an outdoor exhibit featuring interactive sculptures bringing color to life outside. I thought the juxtaposition of these bright colorful modern pieces against the forest backdrop was so interesting and unique.
We got to hear from three of the artist directly and their interpretation of color was fascinating and really gave me a connection to the pieces hearing from the artists first hand.
My two favorite artists were Claire Ashley with large painted inflatables and Spencer Finch with Back to Kansas which was a large geometric billboard with colors from the Wizard of Oz that played an optical illusion on your eyes. When staring at it for 30 minutes at dusk the piece would change from colors to greys.
The Color Field exhibit is beautiful and perfect for a nice stroll outside to enjoy the natural state of Arkansas.
Nature’s Nation was something that I typically wouldn’t be drawn to but found fascinating and Jared absolutely LOVED it! Nature’s Nation is an exhibition developed by Princeton University Art Museum that examines American artist’s impact on shaping environmental understanding and stewardship.
The evolution of how human interacts with nature and see the evolution over time via art really brought to light how we take advantage of nature. It’s also amazing because so many of the pieces have directly impacted governmental decisions like Thomas Moran’s piece on Yellowstone had a direct impact on when Congress decided to save this piece of land as a national park.
This collection really made me think and ended with some ways we can preserve or enjoy nature in our every day lives to really bring an application of everything we just saw. A lot of these pieces have also never traveled before so this might be the only opportunity you have to see them in real life.
Forest Concert Series
Crystal Bridges is offering a full concert series right in the midst of their forest, very close to the Color Field exhibit, so you can enjoy both art and music together. Every Saturday in June and July different local and national artist will put on an intimate show under the trees with food trucks and drinks.
Dogs are allowed (yes, I’m sad we didn’t bring Beau) and kids under 18 are free! At only $12 a ticket, this would be the perfect date night and don’t be surprised if you see Jared and I back this summer at one of the upcoming shows!
See the full list of shows here.
We spent a whole weekend at Crystal Bridges and there is still more we could have done. I highly recommend getting a coffee at their coffee bar or grabbing brunch at their restaurant, Eleven, and enjoy the serene view of the pond. AND definitely, stroll through the permanent collection! I really love that the pieces are constantly moving around and new things are being added, so it’s always a new experience.
More information on Summer at Crystal Bridges here.