Crystal Bridges mixes things up in the tenth year

Opportunities for area residents to contribute and even participate in a new exhibit at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art project iconic works in a new and often unexpected light, its curators said Friday.

“Crystal Bridges at 10,” which opens Sunday, celebrates the museum’s tenth anniversary with audience favorites, such as Andy Warhol’s Dolly Parton portrait and Norman Rockwell’s famous “Rosie the Riveter”.

But these pieces from the museum’s permanent collection are juxtaposed with works by residents of northwest Arkansas, curators Mindy Besaw and Lauren Haynes said.

Besaw is the museum’s American art curator and director of scholarships and research. Haynes, formerly director of artist initiatives and curator of contemporary art at Crystal Bridges and his assistant position, the Momentary, was recently appointed senior curator of contemporary art at Duke University’s Nasher Museum.

Crystal Bridges has added 2,200 square feet to its temporary exhibit gallery for a total of 10,000 square feet. Besaw said “Crystal Bridges at 10” uses all the space for the first time.

Haynes said she and Besaw used both popular works and lesser-known pieces to anchor 10 smaller themed exhibits that include contributions from local artists and community members.

Some of these exhibitions even allow visitors to interact with art in a way that gives it a unique and dynamic dimension.

One uses gaming technology and virtual reality software to transform Francis Guy’s 1820 painting “Winter Scene in Brooklyn” into a digital environment in which visitors can “intervene.”

The Tesseract Center for Immersive Environments and Game Design at the University of Arkansas worked with Crystal Bridges on this exhibition.

Another is based on Maxfield Parrish’s 1908 painting “The Lantern Bearers,” which portrays people in black and white clown costumes on a ladder and with Japanese-style lighted lanterns.

In addition to the painting itself, the screen features a life-size stage with illuminated spheres. Visitors can take a pose on stage, creating a living tableau, or vivid image, which is projected onto a large screen. Nearby will be published information on painting and the history of living paintings.

Schoolchildren from northwest Arkansas participated in an exhibition called Seeing Oneself, in which self-portraits from the museum’s collection are accompanied by 24 self-portraits made by K-12 students.

In addition, a monitor digitally displays more than 500 self-portraits submitted by students across the country.

“We hope visitors are happy to interact with the artwork and artists,” Haynes said, “either” by going to “ crystal-bridges-mixes-things -from the 10th grade / “Winter Scene in Brooklyn”, see the gallery of works by Dyani White Hawk or stop to see the artist Ziba Rajabi create a new work of art “.

“Crystal Bridges at 10” will be on view until September 27th.

Tickets scheduled for the exhibit cost $ 12. However, admission is free for museum members, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants, veterans, and visitors over the age of 18.

Conferences, workshops and other events will complement the exhibition. The full schedule of programs is posted at

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