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ARTS & CULTURE

Coming Soon to Bentonville: The Momentary

Opening 02.22.2020

Text and photos courtesy of the Momentary

 

Across the field from 8th Street Market, a former cheese plant scrapes the skyline of downtown Bentonville. This once industrial building is now known as the Momentary – a dynamic, innovative, multidisciplinary space that will celebrate the art and music of our times.

 

The Momentary will continue Northwest Arkansas’ cultural journey through art, music and food uniting the hobbies and interests of community members from various backgrounds and experiences. The artists and performers featured at the Momentary will also reflect the diversity of the community and the nation.

 

The meaning behind the name

“The name [the Momentary] is a play on the word ‘contemporary,’ and the idea of being in the moment,” said Lieven Bertels, director of the Momentary. “It also speaks to that fleeting quality found in music and performance.” It is aptly named, because artworks and programs at the Momentary will change regularly, focusing on the current moment. 

 

A satellite of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Just as New York’s Museum of Modern Art, or MoMA, has an affiliation with MoMA PS1, the Momentary, similarly, is a satellite of Crystal Bridges. Contemporary art will be featured at both locations, such as will be the case during State of the Art 2020. With its unique space and focus, the Momentary will be able to push boundaries and keep its finger on the pulse of new trends and voices in the art world today.

 

Following in the footsteps of Crystal Bridges, the Momentary will offer free general admission, courtesy of Walmart, and will strive to be as accessible as possible to allow all to enjoy the space and programs. Both locations are connected by a 1.5 mile-long stretch across the Razorback Regional Greenway.

 

What can I do at the Momentary?

The Momentary will offer communal spaces for guests to work, play and engage in discussion, including open gallery areas, theater and concert spaces, a black box theater, an Onyx Coffee Lab, the Break Room for healthy bites, outdoor seating and a festival stage on the Momentary Green, and a Tower Bar overlooking Bentonville.

 

Three large gallery spaces will offer free exhibitions throughout the year, beginning with State of the Art 2020, an exhibition that spotlights artists creating works around the country today, in communities large and small. Each exhibition will be complemented by artist talks and programming.

 

The Momentary Green will offer spaces for people to relax, work or meet with others outdoors and enjoy nature. It will also feature sculptures. Outdoor single- and multi-day music festivals will be held on the Green. 

 

The Tower Bar, loosely inspired by 1960s airport lounges, will be a social space offering wine, beer, craft cocktails and bar snacks in the evening, accompanied by stunning views overlooking the natural beauty of Bentonville. MO Friend- and MO Insider-level members can enjoy the space during the day with coffee and snacks. (See website for details.)

 

The Momentary’s artist-in-residence program will allow visual artists from around the world to take up residence in one of three dedicated studio spaces as they work on new projects.

 

Don’t miss opening weekend and TIME BEING, Feb. 22-23

The Momentary’s first moment is approaching quickly. When it opens on Feb. 22, everyone is welcome to explore the space, discover State of the Art 2020 and engage in TIME BEING, the space’s inaugural festival of performance. 

 

TIME BEING will take place Feb. 22-23, with a Momentary member preview on Feb. 21. This festival will offer dance, music and theater experiences by artists from around the world, including Courtney Barnett, FM Belfast, BANDALOOP and Kristin Worrall, as well as pop-up performances. 

Spring lineup and FreshGrass

A wide range of local and international artists will take the stage at the Momentary throughout the spring season, including multiple Grammy award-winning artists Kronos Quartet and Mexican singer Lila Downs, UK/South African jazz performers Shabaka and the Ancestors, and various performance art pieces.

 

FreshGrass, the highly anticipated festival of cutting-edge bluegrass and roots music, is making its Arkansas debut at the Momentary April 24-25, featuring Alison Krauss, Old Crow Medicine Show, and more than 25 bands in all. 

 

Visit theMomentary.org to book tickets, become a member, and learn more about what’s to come!

Rendering by Wheeler Kearns Architects, courtesy of the Momentary.

“A Study on Effort” by Bobbi Jene Smith, photo by Alex Apt.

Su Su, “Darwin,” 2018. Oil on canvas. 34x50 in. Courtesy of the artist.

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