Monthly Archives: June 2015

Crystal Bridges Announces New Acquisitions

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville has acquired five new artworks. Two sculptures and two paintings are by artist Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010), and Jasper Johns’ Flag.

The works by Bourgeois are: Maman, 1999 (bronze, stainless steel, and marble), Quarantania, 1947-1953 (bronze, painted white with blue and black, and stainless steel), Connecticutiana, 1944-1945 (oil on wood), and Untitled, 1947 (oil on canvas).

QuarantaniaBourgeois’s work spanned most of the 20th Century and helped inform the growing feminist art movement. She immigrated to the United States from Europe.

“Quarantania recently debuted in Crystal Bridges’ 1940s to Now Art Gallery, in a focused area featuring artists’ depiction of the human form. Although Quarantania’s life-size figures are simplified and abstracted, they represent deeply personal and complex facets of Louise Bourgeois’s own life and relationships. The figures’ tight grouping evokes the feeling of close emotional relationships. Shaped like shuttles used in weaving, they are linked to the artist’s childhood and the tools used by her parents, who restored antique tapestries as a profession,” according to a museum press release.

“Quarantania likely represents the artists own family at the time, with herself in the center carrying packages, surrounded by her husband and three sons. The hanging packages allude to the artist’s role as caretaker for her family and the burden of childcare. The title of the work (from French: quarante, meaning 40) likely refers to Bourgeois’s age, a subject she explored throughout her career: she turned 40 in 1951.

“Two landmark works from the 1940s, Connecticutiana and Untitled, are also part of this acquisition. While the paintings of Louise Bourgeois have been widely acclaimed and exhibited in the United States and Europe, this marks the first acquisition of Bourgeois paintings by a museum in the United States.  These paintings will debut in the 1940s to Now Art Gallery in summer 2015.

Maman“The monumental sculpture Maman, (from French: mama), measures more than 30 feet in both length and height, and will be installed on the museum’s grounds later this year. The earliest examples of the spider image appeared in Bourgeois’s work in the late 1940s as drawings. The first spider sculpture cast in bronze was made in 1990. Bourgeois said of the spider works, “The Spider is an Ode to my mother. She was my best friend. Like a spider, my mother was a weaver. My family was in the business of tapestry restoration, and my mother was in charge of the workshop. Like spiders, my mother was very clever. Spiders are friendly presences that eat mosquitos. We know that mosquitos spread diseases and are therefore unwanted. So, spiders are helpful and protective, just like my mother.”

In 2000, Bourgeois was commissioned to create Maman for the opening of Turbine Hall Gallery, part of Tate Modern in London. Bourgeois saw this as an opportunity to create the single largest and most elaborate spider in her career.”

Bentonville_Crystal_Bridges_Jaspers_John_FlagThe debut of Jasper Johns’ Flag (1983,encaustic on silk flag on canvas) will be part of a Flag Day weekend debut in a focused area in the museum’s permanent collection gallery. A member preview with curator Chad Alligood is scheduled for June 12 with the public opening on June 13.

The flag appeared in more than 90 of Johns’s works throughout his career. Johns grew up in South Carolina and was named for an ancestor famous for rescuing a flag during the Revolutionary War. Johns used the same basic composition for each flag, including 48 stars and 13 stripes, as the first flag was created before Hawaii and Alaska joined the United States. This painting contains a silk flag, collaged on canvas, as its base layer and tells the story of shifting art movements in late 20th Century American art.

Since 1983, Crystal Bridges’ Flag has been in the private collection of Mark Lancaster, a British artist and assistant to Mr. Johns.

Crystal Bridges

The mission of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is to welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature. Opened to the public on 11-11-11, Crystal Bridges was founded in 2005 by the Walton Family Foundation as a nonprofit charitable organization for all to enjoy.

Crystal Bridges takes its name from a nearby natural spring and the bridge construction incorporated in the building, designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. A series of pavilions nestled around two spring-fed ponds house galleries, meeting and classroom spaces, and a large, glass-enclosed gathering hall. Guest amenities include a restaurant on a glass-enclosed bridge overlooking the ponds, Museum Store designed by architect Marlon Blackwell, and a library featuring more than 50,000 volumes of art reference material. Sculpture and walking trails link the Museum’s 120-acre park to downtown Bentonville, Arkansas.

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 [3]— 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 permanent collection, which continues to grow through a strategic acquisition plan, is on view year-round and is enhanced by an array of temporary exhibitions.

by Jill Rohrbach

Bentonville Art and Culinary Festival Is Underway

June_AThe Bentonville Art and Culinary Festival is officially underway. Running the entire month of June, the big kickoff event is First Friday, taking place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. today, June 5 on the Bentonville square. Numerous art and culinary vendors and interactive art booths for children fill the square during the event. Plus, live music on the main stage starts at 5 p.m. with The Sugar Free Allstars, followed by Cindy Scott Duo at 5:40pm, and The Bowdogs out of Kansas City at 6:30.

The First Friday Encore Series is from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., where the public is invited to the Brosh Studio above Table Mesa Bistro on the square to hear Candy Lee and the Sweets.

On Saturday, June 6, the fun begins with the Bentonville Farmers Market and more main stage concerts from 10 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. with performances by Cindy Scott and the Fayetteville Jazz Collective. Most of the Downtown Bentonville businesses, on and around the Downtown Bentonville Square, participate in the event with extended hours, special offers and events. Yoga Story will have yoga demonstrations with a chance to win prizes. The First Friday Flick at Lawrence Plaza will be Maleficent showing at 8 p.m.

See the details for First Friday events and the Art and Culinary Festival at

Paddle On The Prairie at Beaver Lake

Beaver_Lake_Paddle_Prairie3Paddling around a lake or river in a canoe or kayak is one of my favorite things to do. When we go on family vacations, we usually build that activity into our plan. And my best friend, Amy, and I have had some fantastic kayaking experiences too.

In fact, Amy often heads to Lake Fort Smith State Park to rent a kayak and paddle around for the day. She’s in the market for a kayak. My husband and I have a canoe and fishing kayak. I’m starting to think about a Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP), except that I’ve yet to try one, which is why this event caught my eye.

This weekend, Ozark Mountain Trading Co. is putting on an event perfect for anyone in the market for one of these boats – Paddle On The Prairie on Beaver Lake in northwest Arkansas on June 6 at the Prairie Creek Day Use access. Take advantage of free demos for the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be no parking fee or any other fees for attending.

It’s a great way to demo a wide variety of different kayaks – 50-plus models. Additionally, there will be factory reps on hand from Hobie, Wilderness System and Native. More than 500 boats will be available for purchase.

Events like this make me happy to see summer come back around again.

by Jill Rohrbach

The Summer Soundtrack of Northwest Arkansas

Thunder 6


What does summer sound like? Drifting on the breeze in northwest Arkansas is the music of Umphrey’s McGhee, Ben Harper, The Disco Biscuits, Yonder Mountain String Band, Carrie Underwood, Big & Rich, and the Zac Brown Band as well as numerous other artists at outdoor amphitheaters, music festivals, and urban locales. You can also catch a summer opera season.

Check out this summer soundtrack of Arkansas:

  1. Wakarusa Music Festival takes place at the magnificent Mulberry Mountain in Northwest Arkansas this week, June 4-7. The 2015 festival will feature electrifying Main Stage performances by Umphrey’s McGee, The Floozies and Gigantic Underground Conspiracy on Thursday, followed by Chance the Rapper, STS9 and Big Gigantic on Friday. The Roots, Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals and Major Lazer will headline the Main Stage on Saturday and closing out the festival on Sunday evening: Portugal. The Man, Lotus, and Thievery Corporation. The festival setting is 650 acres of rolling hills and beautiful national forest. For more information on ticketing, artist lineup schedule and all things Wakarusa please visit:
  2. Thunder on the Mountain follows Waka on June 26-28, also at Mulberry Mountain. Headliners include Carrie Underwood and Big & Rich on Friday, Zac Brown Band and Jerrod Niemann on Saturday, and The Band Perry, Eli Young Band and Sara Evens on Sunday. More than 50 bands on four stages will play throughout the weekend. The festival bills itself as “the rowdiest honky-tonk party this side of the Mason-Dixon Line.” In addition to musical acts, the event offers remarkable food and craft vendors, river floats, fishing, waterfalls, hiking, premier RV camping and much more. Visit for tickets and more information.
  3. Fayetteville Roots Festival is a four-day urban music festival set for Aug. 27-30. The main stages will be located at multiple venues across the city, including the Fayetteville Town Center, George’s Majestic Lounge, Greenhouse Grille, Kingfish Dive Bar, Fayetteville Public Library and the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market. The festival’s key components are music, food and community. With the slogan, “A Mountain Town in its Natural State” the festival is a showcase of many of the elements that make Fayetteville a beloved cultural hot spot. Headliners include: The Punch Brothers, Fiona Apple, Sara Watkins, Pokey LaFarge, John Fullbright, and The Steel Wheels. For tickets and more information, visit
  4. Rogers_Walmart_AMP

    Walmart AMP

    The Walmart AMP (Arkansas Music Pavilion) is a premiere outdoor concert venue located along Interstate 49 in Rogers. Its new venue opened in June 2014 and accommodates 9,500-plus people, with 3,200 covered seats and additional general admission seating on a sloped lawn. The new Walmart AMP has upgraded air-conditioned concessions and restrooms, a permanent pavilion and the biggest stage house in Arkansas. Scheduled to play this summer are: Lady Antebellum’s 2015 Wheels Up Tour with Hunter Hayes and Kelsea Ballerini; Colbie Caillat; Kenny Chesney’s 2015 The Big Revival Tourwith Jake Owen and Chase Rice; Hozier, and more. Stay up-to-date at

  5. Eureka Springs Blues Weekend headliners are Chris Thomas King and Jimmy D. Lane. Grammy Award winner Chris Thomas King helped expose millions of movie-goers to the Blues as Tommy Johnson in Oh Brother, Where Art Thou. Jimmy D. Lane is a Chicago bluesman, son of the legendary Jimmy Rogers. Other headliner and featured acts include The Bel-Airs, Earl & Them, Shawn Holt and the Teardrops, Kelley Hunt, Jimmy D. Lane, The Nace Brothers and The Noah Wotherspoon Band. Full Access and VIP Passes are available for a limited time. For a complete schedule, tickets, lodging info and more, visit
  6. Eureka_Springs_Opera_Pirate

    Opera in the Ozarks

    The Opera in the Ozarks 2015 Season on June 20 -July 18 is the 65th year for this amazing summer opera festival. This year, see Cinderella, La Traviata and the Tales of Hoffmann performed by up and coming opera stars of tomorrow. Enjoy more than 20 stunning performances this summer. Get online tickets and more information at

  7. Another favorite soundtrack to an Arkansas summer is the simple sounds of the birds and the bees, rippling water, lakes lapping at the shore, and other natural auditory elements at numerous campsites and cabins, and city, state and federal parks throughout the region.


The Arkansas Highway Department has released an official statement that Highway 23, north of Mulberry Mountain will be closed until further notice. Due to a landslide affecting the road clearance, all festival traffic will need to utilize Interstate 40 to Highway 23 at Ozark, AR to access the festival site.

The North Toll at Highway 23 and Highway 16 will be closed and all resources and staff will be moved to the South Toll. The number of check lanes will be increased to accommodate the additional traffic. Wakarusa organizers expect minimal impact from the road closure and expect the detour to take an additional 20-30 minutes.

It is extremely important for Wakarusa patrons to use Highway 23 from Interstate 40 near Ozark. All patrons coming from the north should remain on I-49/540 South to I-40 East to Hwy 23. GPS devices may suggest alternative routes from the north. These will likely be logging or utility roads that are impassable by regular cars or are dead ends. All festival traffic needs to utilize Interstate 40 to Highway 23 at Ozark, AR to access the site.

by Jill Rohrbach