This past weekend was another full one, including a day trip to our favorite part of the state, and a photo session for some good friends of ours. I squeezed in a short run Sunday morning, but that’s about it. We’ll chat more about my realigned marathon goals later this week! I doubt they will come as a surprise to anyone though.
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Saturday early morning we headed up to northwest Arkansas, which is about 3 hours north of us, to visit Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Crystal Bridges was founded by Alice Walton, daughter of Walmart’s Sam Walton, and is home to beautiful architecture, several miles of trails, famous and rare artwork, a restaurant and coffee shop, and it all sits on 120 acres of woods, streams, and the natural springs where the museum derives its’ name. It will also soon be home to one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s homes. Basically, it’s a gorgeous property, and we’ve been dying to go see it! The best part about the museum? It’s FREE! Since it’s sponsored by Wal-Mart, general admission is free to everyone year-round.
Neither Adam or I are exactly artsy fartsy people. Come on now, you already knew that. The first C I ever made in college was Art Appreciation and I truly thought I was doomed for the rest of my college career. Thankfully, I bounced back. But needless to say, my ability to appreciate art and understand it, has been pretty non-existent the majority of my life. However, I think we both genuinely enjoyed looking at all of the artwork and were just amazed at how easily we were “lost” in some of the paintings! The amount of detail and the stories that are told in those pieces is just unbelievable, not to mention how old some of the paintings are! I mean, we’re talking the 1700’s even! Several times we actually stood and debated what was going on in the painting, and found ourselves asking each other, “did you notice this?” and “what do you think is happening here?”. I guess maybe now we should have some sort of art in our house?
Ok so, we got up to NWA a bit sooner than we anticipated, so we spent about an hour or so wandering around the greatness that is Cabela’s. Once it was lunch time, we took a friend’s recommendation and ate at a cute mexican/tex-mex restaurant on the Bentonville square. It was delicious, and we will definitely be going back next time we’re up there! Look how huge the nachos were…
After lunch, we headed to the museum. We thought the museum would take a while to get to, but much to our surprise, it’s literally right. there. Just tucked away down in a ravine, surrounded by gorgeous fall trees. It was amazing driving up to it. The architecture was breathtaking, and everything just “fit” into the natural hillside and landscape. It’s almost as if it was always there. The museum is a serious of buildings, surrounding two bodies of water, with streams flowing on both sides. Throughout the woods are multiple trails, and if it weren’t so cold we would have walked them! Next time, for sure! Several of them connect with the city wide trail system that was already in place, so you can easily log a few miles around the museum, then head back out into town. Something that I keep telling Adam I think is just awesome, is that you could literally run or ride your bike through every city up there, all on the same trail! GAH I’m just obsessed with how walkable and runner friendly it is up there!
Anyways, photography is allowed inside and outside, and even inside the exhibits. I took a few photos inside, but won’t spoil anything in case you go visit!
We of course picked the coldest day of the year so far to visit, so several of these images were taken inside, thus the reflections in the photos. Sorry, just act like those glares aren’t there! Here are a handful of photos from the day, and hopefully it surprises you how beautiful AR is! I think we just missed peak color for the trees, but we were pretty close.
That big floating thing in the water? Modern Art. Don’t ask me.
State of the Art is the current featured exhibit. It focuses on current artists, and more modern day art.
The middle staircase is going to lead up to where the Frank Lloyd Wright house is being relocated. It’s currently being disassembled in New Jersey and will arrive sometime in the spring.
The parking garage and outer building had vines growing all along the walls, making it almost feel camouflage with the rest of the land. It’s crazy!
I think on a warmer fall day, or a warm spring day when all the flowers are blooming, you could spend a full day walking around the property and just admiring how pretty everything is! We probably only saw half of what this place has to offer! And to think it’s literally just on the edge of town. What an awesome FREE place to be able to retreat to!
We spent about 3-4 hours at the museum before heading home, and made a quick stop at a local coffee shop near Fayetteville for a cup o’joe. The Razorback/LSU game was Saturday night, so we wanted to make sure we were well out of town by kickoff. I think we left NWA about 5:30, and were home by almost 8. It was a super easy drive there and back, so thankfully the day didn’t seem too too long.
Sunday morning before church, I went to the gym for what I really and honestly intended to be an 8 mile run. And then I was going to run 8 more miles Sunday night. Ha. That didn’t happen, but 4 miles did. And that’s ok! Life got in the way, and socializing and building relationships with people we love outweighs running in my book every time!
Sunday afternoon I had an anniversary photo shoot, and then we went to small group. And now here I am telling you lovely people all about my weekend, with a fire going and a hot cup of coffee. I’m going to try to get myself to the gym again in the morning, and knock out a few more miles. Wish me luck, it’s going to be COLD!
How was your weekend? Have you heard of Crystal Bridges? How do you feel about art?