The Momentary, a multidisciplinary arts space planned to open in early 2020 as a satellite to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, announces that it will launch an Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program this spring. This expands on a visiting artist program established at Crystal Bridges and provides artists with studio and creative spaces throughout the community while construction of the Momentary is underway.
In 2016, Crystal Bridges announced plans to transform a 63,000 square-foot Kraft Foods plant into a space for visual, performing, and culinary arts, as well as an AIR program. The Momentary will encourage a confluence of community and culture where artists and visitors work, live, and play. The new venue will provide access to art experiences in a modern and relaxed, social space, with a focus on contemporary art in an international context.
The Momentary will include galleries, studios, theater and concert spaces, café, bar, indoor and outdoor common areas, as well as three dedicated studio spaces for artists in residence. Studio spaces will include traditional, multi-media, and 3D/sculpture as well as shared spaces for collaboration and community engagement.
“One of the goals of the Momentary is to bring multiple contemporary art spaces together for cultivation of new ideas based on current topics,” said Lieven Bertels, director of the Momentary. “With the Artists-in-Residence program at the Momentary, we envision studio and social spaces that provide artistic independence for artists alongside an integrated art experience to create a holistic mix of art and leisure activities.”
Crystal Bridges Pilot Program
Crystal Bridges began piloting the AIR program in 2017 with the goal of fully launching with the opening of the Momentary in 2020. Past visiting artists include Leonardo Drew and Nina Chanel Abney, who were both invited to create on-site installations at Crystal Bridges in 2017. Abney’s Untitled (2017) is a large-scale mural of bright colors and shapes from spray paint that can be found in the stairwell of the Contemporary Art Gallery. Drew’s Number 184T (2017) is a collection of materials such as wood, iron, paper, and more which he alters by burning, premature aging, painting, and rusting to create one-of-a-kind sculptures. The installation was acquired by Crystal Bridges in 2019. Jana Benitez visited in the summer of 2018. Her work was inspired by Kerry James Marshall’s Our Town painting in the Crystal Bridges collection in which she explored notions of community through portraits of residents of Northwest Arkansas and depictions of the landscape of downtown Bentonville.
In early 2019, two New Orleans-based artists were in residency. Ana Hernandez, painter and sculptor, explored Arkansas and the land acquired during the Louisiana Purchase, researching policy and development of the South to chart intersections between the landscape, environment, and her larger painting practice. Mariana Sheppard further developed her portrait series based on the relationship between mothers and daughters.
“This program focuses on the artists themselves,” said Lauren Haynes, curator of visuals arts at the Momentary and curator of contemporary art at Crystal Bridges. “During their stay, the artists create a work, process an idea, or develop a project while in dialogue with the organizations and people of our area. Their work expands on our vision of bringing contemporary art to our community.”
About the Spring 2019 Artists-in-Residence
The Momentary announces the spring Artist-in-Residence line-up which includes four multi-disciplined artists from around the country as part of the 2019 program: Ebony G. Patterson, visual artist; Will Rawls, choreographer, performer, writer; and Flutronix (Nathalie Joachim and Allison Loggins-Hall), flutists and musical artists.
“We are so excited to host these talented, diverse, contemporary artists this spring and help them pursue their projects,” continued Haynes. “Bringing these and similar artists to Bentonville fosters a collegial environment where locals and artists can learn from each other and focus on larger projects and themes.”
The AIR program supports national and international artists working in all disciplines for six weeks up to six months. Artists are provided a dedicated work space and invited to pursue artistic projects in the fields of their choice. In addition, artists may participate in programs, talks, community activities, as well as collaborations with other artists.
AIR program artists are selected by invitation, similar to how artists are identified for Crystal Bridges’ exhibitions. Haynes and her team look specifically at three attributes: the artists ability to think critically about topics that are important to the study of American art, the connection to art, nature, and architecture, and the relationship with the Momentary’s mission to connect today’s contemporary art to our everyday lives.
Each artist will arrive to Northwest Arkansas at different times and explore projects that expand on their work. Some artists are developing projects specific to the region.