In July, we had the opportunity to spend a weekend in Northwest Arkansas, visiting friends and exploring art in Bentonville. It was our third trip to this part of Arkansas, and we were excited to revisit old favorites and discover new ones!
We stayed in Bentonville at the 21c Museum Hotel downtown. Bentonville is small, but the presence of a few corporate headquarters (including Wal-Mart) means that it works to compete on a much bigger scale in terms of sophistication and options for professionals and/or people who might be traveling through to do business and want to take in a Bentonville art museum. This is good for everyone! Especially since most of what is available is free to the public.
This unique Arkansas hotel is called a "museum hotel" because it is art-focused, with a large gallery space on the ground floor and exhibitions throughout the building. I was excited by the quality of work and diversity of artists represented.
"The Fly Woman" series was rendered in pierced paper. Amazing! I'm glad these pieces were framed - I would have had to keep my hands in my pockets to prevent touching the images!
Bentonville Crystal Bridges
Bentonville is also home to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. We visit this museum every time we are in the area, and still haven't seen all of its permanent collection. It's huge, and the grounds host a sculpture garden representing impressive artists. The museum's trails connect it to downtown Bentonville, but it was too hot for us to make the trek, but there was plenty to see close to the museum. While we were there, we saw three deer! I wonder what they think of their impressive surroundings?
This installation script was made with beautiful, colorful shoeslaces!
These are just a few of the wonderful highlights from this visit to the museum! In researching this post, I found a hint of something very cool coming to Crystal Bridges later on. My sleuthing skills only got me so far, but if you like pumpkins and infinity rooms, you'll likely be excited when they officially announce!
Arkansas Off the Beaten Path
Our friends live in Springdale, and they are also art explorers! They recommended a few things in the area that were new to us. Our favorite new discovery was the town of Siloam Springs, on the Arkansas/Oklahoma border. It was perfect for a quick rest stop, and had a lot of street art to discover.
Arkansas is only a few hours away from Dallas, and each time we go, we find something new to discover. We can't wait to go back and spend some more time with its art offerings and other experiences off the beaten path. Check back often as we add to our Arkansas Travel Guide and drop us a line with any recommendations!