Crystal Bridges

Alice Walton grew up in Bentonville, sort of an art wasteland.  Her exposure to art came from library books.  She and her mother painted watercolors together.  Her first purchase of a major work by Picasso came from money she earned working at her father’s store.

Now, a wealthy woman from her father, Sam Walton’s estate, she decided to have an art museum in Bentonville, which is free to the public.

A lake was dug and the buildings placed across it, like covered bridges.

The crystal part of the name came from all the glass walls.

The art is protected from the light because it hangs in rooms in the center of the buildings.  The collection is American art with some very notable artists included.  The art begins with artists from the revolutionary time and continues into the modern time.

One temporary exhibit was in a small dark room with a curving pathway through it.  Two people were allowed inside at a time.

Mirrors, lights, and hanging Japanese lanterns created an other worldly experience.

Outside, a well kept area invites people to stroll through the grounds.  Now that’s what an American Beauty Berry bush should look like – full of clusters of magenta colored berries.

Behind the museum is a native forest that has walking trails and art displayed.  This Chiuily art in a boat looks like it’s on a sea of grass.  The early morning dew, paired with spots of sunlight, emphasized the bright colors of the glass.

Pieces of art by what looks like amateurs to me were mystifying.

Some sculptures were huge, like this canoe one.

Guess they are encouraging modern art.

Dale Chihuly’s glass masterpieces are amazing.  I’m blown away every time I see them.

Still wonder how on earth these individually blown glasses are connected together.

So impressive.

“Flowers in Bloom Now” by Yayir Kusama is constructed from steel and urethane paint.  One of her trademarks is Polka dots.

This deer stands about 11 feet tall.  Strange.

Most of the woods is too shady for many flowers.  These Toad Lilies, with their tiny flowers, caught my eye.

If you’re ever in Bentonville, love art and nature, impressive Crystal Bridges is a must visit.

“To me, people everywhere need access to art and that’s what we didn’t have here, and that’s why Crystal Bridges is so important.  It’s important that it be located here.”      Alice Walton

Chihuly Glass

While in Oklahoma City recently, we visited the Art Museum and were delighted to find a Chihuly Glass exhibit and an Ansel Adams photography show.

chihulyPhotos were allowed in the Chihuly area but not the Adams exhibit.  This is the third time I’ve seen one of Chihuly’s glass shows.  Now only does the beauty of it fascinate me, but the talent and labor involved is impressive.

chihuly1Two of his specialities are large bowls and platters.

chihuly2In displays, they are usually stacked or tilted against each other with bowls inside of bowls.

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chihuly4Although these standing shapes are not my favorites, every show includes some.

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chihuly6To me this was a strange way to display his glass.  In a hallway the art glass was piled on a glass ceiling.

chihuly7Looking up to the glass ceiling.

chihuly8Still craning my neck to see up.

chihuly9The lines across are joints of the glass ceiling panels.

chihulyaSo much Chihuly glass that seemed to be wasted since it is piled up above one’s line of vision.

chihulybMore on ceiling.

chihulycLast section of the ceiling.  Chihuly brings a crew to arrange the pieces according to his plan at different locations.  I asked a museum employee if this was one of his arrangements.

She said that he had an exhibit several years ago at the museum, and the community loved it.  So several donors provided the money to buy all the glass.  Plus, they also purchased the right to arrange it as they wished.  So this glass ceiling was the result of the museum curator’s design.

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chihulyeThis room was dark and this arrangement did not show up well.

chihulyfAnother of Chihuly’s trademarks is to pile glass balls in boats.  So I don’t know if this was rearranged before or after he left.

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chihulyiAnother of my least favorite types of his glass are the cherubs and birds.  But I can certainly appreciate the difficulty in blowing the glass.

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chihulykSince Chihuly takes glass shows around the world, his popularity and fame have grown.  His website tells about his life and work.  It is a pleasure to view his work.

“People are like stained glass windows.  They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”   Elisabeth Kubler-Ross