story and photos by Kacy Burdette, special to The City Wire
BENTONVILLE — Good food, films and folk music were available in abundance at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art’s recent Journey into the Wild event. The party on the museum’s beautifully landscaped south lawn was the museum’s latest Art Night Out program.
Roots music by singer-songwriter Mark Bilyeu (formerly of Big Smith), Fork and Knife, 3 Penny Acre and Still on the Hill permeated the lush green of the museum’s natural surroundings. Partygoers danced and swayed to the sound of fiddles, banjos and Matt Cartier of Fork and Knife tap dancing on a piece of plywood.
“He made it look so easy,” Francisco Ruiz said of Cartier. “It made everyone just want to dance with him, even though he was obviously better.” Adam Posnak of Devils Promenade roamed the trail and elsewhere, singing and playing guitar, keeping the music going during down times.
Whitney Johnston, an elementary school art teacher, put on a live painting demonstration throughout the event. Painting stations were set up for guests to demonstrate their own artistic skills.
For those who preferred the climate-controlled comfort of the museum, the Seedling Film Association presented a series of short nature films by local filmmakers in the museum’s Great Hall. The University of Arkansas’ creative writing program put on a writing presentation in the Hudson River School exhibition so folks could practice their writing skills about nature and art. At nightfall, guests took a guided flashlight tour of the Crystal Bridges walking trails.
The next Art Night Out event, Gather Around the Radio, will take place in September.