The Crystal Bridges Awakening: Art Scene Explodes in Rogers

NormanRockwell Rosie the Riveter 1943Northwest Arkansas and the entire art world are abuzz over Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, online at  Crystal Bridges is an amazing treasure and a must-see in northwest Arkansas, sparking a new interest in the arts for all ages. The museum blog itself says it best:

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 SpiritsRosie the Riveter by Norman Rockwell, and Andy Warhol’sDolly Parton, each reflecting a distinct moment in American artistic evolution. In addition to historical works, the Museum’s collection also showcases major works by modern and contemporary American artists, including Roy Lichtenstein, James Turrell, and Georgia O’Keeffe, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to experience the full scope of American art. Crystal Bridges will continue to grow its collection through the efforts of its professional staff as well as through important gifts from private collectors.

New galleries have opened their doors and new fans are finding existing ones. Who would have ever thought that you could actually take an honest-to-goodness art tour through Benton County? After you view the beautiful art at Crystal Bridges and 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville, hop on over to Rogers for the rest of your tour. Here are a few of the highlights that you shouldn't miss.

White River Gallery

Your first stop needs to be the White River Gallery in Rogers. The gallSpring in Tuscanyery showcases the award winning photography of Rogers native Ed Cooley. This swanky, yet modern gallery is filled with some of the most beautiful landscapes created by mother nature and captured on film by Cooley. When you walk into the gallery, it's as if you have opened a window and are peering into another land just steps from where you are. He has captured some of the most stunning views around the world, including this gorgeous photo from Italy. He puts so much thought into capturing that perfect moment in time so much so that he hiked through a muddy Tuscan field at 4:30 a.m. for six days straight before snapping the perfect shot. See if you can tell which print took this kind of dedication when you visit the gallery, located at 115 South 2nd Street in downtown Rogers and open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. and Saturdays by appointment. You can learn more about the gallery and upcoming events on their website or by calling 888-217-0442.

 Scott Frame and Art

Scott Frame and ArtMore local artists are on display at Scott Frame and Art, located just off interstate 49 at the Pleasant Grove exit. Here you will find paintings, photos and giclees on canvas and paper. (Post confession...I had to Google "giclees", so don't worry if you didn't know what that was either. You aren't alone. Also, the last piece of art I bought was of a monkey wearing a dress and funny hat. I'm pretty much a novice art collector.) Ok, back to business. Northwest Arkansas artists that have been represented in the Scott gallery include Ed Cooley, Sharon Simmons, Tyler Arnold, Matt Miller, Dierdre West and many others.  Most every piece of art in the gallery is for sale, so if you find something you like, you can take right on home. The gallery is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Scott has also opened a Fayetteville location to further serve their loyal customers.

So are you an art novice like me or have you been collecting for a long time? I'd love to know what your favorites pieces are. Comment below and let me know! Happy art hunting!