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A day trip to Crystal Bridges

Only two hours away, Bentonville, Ark., is host to one of the greatest feasts for the eyes

Only two hours from Tulsa sits one the best art museums in the country. Crystal Bridges, located in Bentonville, Ark., is a pilgrimage perfect for a day trip. With more than 50,000 square feet of gallery space, it's the perfect way to get out of the house and take a day trip.

The New Year brings new ways to engage with Crystal Bridges, both onsite and online. Free timed-entry tickets are required for admission to help maintain attendance limitations and proper social distancing at the museum. A new satellite contemporary art space, the Momentary, is also open and located 1.5 miles south of Crystal Bridges. Advanced tickets are not necessary for the Momentary. Staff and visitors are required to wear face coverings for ages 10 and older both indoors and outdoors. Tickets and the most current safety guidelines can be found at CrystalBridges.org.

Extra mindful of social distancing? Consider visiting during evening weekday hours 

Seeing the museum after dark is a whole new experience. The galleries illuminate against the Ozark forest, painted in a new light. The quietest (and least crowded) hours are in the evening – the museum is open until 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday.

Companion Species will be on view through May 24, 2021

Companion Species: We are All Related is a new, focus exhibition and collaborative project that will be presented both at Crystal Bridges and the Museum of Native American History (MONAH) in Bentonville. MONAH is working on re-opening plans and will announce exhibition dates soon.

“We are excited to partner with MONAH on this project, and especially the ways this project encourages new ways of seeing art in conversation,” says Mindy Besaw, curator, American art, and director of fellowships and research. “This artwork serves as a jumping-off point to explore concepts of connectedness, storytelling and community through art and objects across our collections.”

Companion Species takes inspiration from the recent Crystal Bridges acquisition, Companion Species: Speech Bubble by Marie Watt (Seneca). The work was made with the help of willing hands of sewing circles in Northwest Arkansas, eastern Oklahoma, and Honolulu, Hawaii in the fall of 2018 and winter 2019. Made from reclaimed wool blankets in shades of red, Companion Species (Speech Bubble) is shaped like a megaphone. Words such as “neighbor” and “hate” are mixed with familial words such as “mother,” “grandmother,” and “brother.” The words draw attention to Indigenous ways of acknowledging relatedness, but also come from the 1971 Marvin Gaye song, “What’s Going On.” At Crystal Bridges, Watt’s work will be in conversation with paintings and sculpture by artists such as Harry Fonseca, Ma Pe Wi, Woody Crumbo, Louise Bourgeois, William Holbrook Beard and a variety of historic objects from different Native American communities from MONAH’s collection.

Take an enchanted, nighttime walk through the woods in North Forest Lights

North Forest Lights is a nighttime, nature-inspired lighting and sound experience. Crystal Bridges partnered with Montreal-based multimedia and entertainment studio Moment Factory to bring this concept to life. Tickets are available Wednesday through Monday starting at 6 p.m. (The museum is closed on Tuesdays.) and runs through April 4, 2021. To ensure a safe and stress-free experience for all visitors, new COVID-19 safety measures have been put in place throughout North Forest Lights, and face coverings must be worn at all times. For more information, visit CrystalBridges.org.

Upgrade Your Experience: Book a North Forest Snow Globe

The North Forest Snow Globe experience includes two hours inside a cozy, see-through snow globe dome with lights, music and faux-fur blankets, specialty cocktails, bites, and a Snow Globe concierge. Tickets to this snow globe experience also include entry to North Forest Lights and a shuttle pick-up to bring you to your snow globe upon arrival. This is the perfect opportunity to celebrate special occasions under the stars immersed in North Forest Lights!

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