The new contemporary art museum and performance venue planned at the site of the former Kraft Foods factory in Downtown Bentonville is set to open in 2020, officials stated at a press event held Thursday in Bentonville.
Announced in 2016 and given its name in the fall of 2017, will be called The Momentary, and will be a part of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
The Momentary, however, will focus on
visual, performance, and culinary discovery
with an emphasis on contemporary art. Once complete, the facility will also include studio space for resident artists, restaurant space, green space for concerts and events, and a rooftop bar.
While Crystal Bridges provides that deep historical context in a museum setting, The Momentary will have a much more experimental feel.. It encourages visitors to interact and get engaged in different ways, to have those conversations about the art making project process, all toward the goal of extending the story of American art through today, in our moment.
– Rod Bigelow, Crystal Bridges executive director
The design phase of the project has been completed, officials said, and the construction phase has already started.
The Momentary encourages an experimental approach with the flexibility and space for artists to engage with the community and each other in meaningful and unexpected ways… By preserving the industrial integrity of the architecture, we are embracing the history of the building.
Lieven Bertels, Momntary director
Bertels announced that Native American artist Addie Roanhorse will be creating the first piece of art for the facility. The site of the Momentary was once hunting grounds for Native Americans, Bertels said, and commissioning a Native American artist to create the first piece of art makes sense for the museum that wants to embrace the history of the region.
Before this (land) was a dairy plant, it was an apple orchard and it had been since Arkansas was formed as a state around the 1830s.. Before that, it was Osage Nation hunting grounds for the Osage peoples from what is now Oklahoma that would come and hunt here for at least half of the year. We want to reflect all of those layers of our history.
Roanhorse will create a design to adorn a large glass facade on the facility that is inspired by an arrow patern woven by her ancestors for centuries.
This is something that my ancestors did 300 years ago, and our generations today are still weaving this same patern
A new logo was also unveiled at the event that, coincidentally, features arrows of a different type.
Since, the mission of the Momentary is to champion contemporary art’s role in everyday life, our logo is based on the type of signage found in a factory setting and present all around us.. There were a lot of arrows on the pipes – steam, milk, water, drains – all the kinds of pipes you’d find in that kind of building…and we found them with a clean, simple typeface…So we’ve actually embraced that for our identity.
Along with the logo, new website, and social media presence (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) were unveiled at the event.
Officials also announced a new $2 million gift from Walmart, Inc. that will provide free general admission for visitors to the museum, and help to pay for exhibitions, artist programs, festivals, and other amenities.
The museum is planning to celebrate pre-opening with an outdoor concert event on its grounds in the fall of 2019, with the offical opening date planned for the early part of 2020.