June 8, 2014
Before we checked out of our cabin at Sugar Ridge late Sunday morning, Wendy saw a red-headed woodpecker from out on the deck and we watched the antics of squirrels. Wendy got a great shot of a Colona moth with her iPhone, and a large Luna moth on the side of the cabin was as relaxed as we were.
Before heading home, we contemplated a walk at nearby Lake Leatherwood, but the XTERRA race event was underway. So we headed west through light rain, meandering a bit to see the town of Pea Ridge, to arrive at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville. We’d been there in mid-April, so only two small exhibits were new: some architectural models from the firm of Moshe Safdie, who designed the museum, and a collection of ceramic works from area museums. Unfortunately the ceramics were behind glass displays cases in a corridor where the opposite wall of glass looking out onto the pond created harsh glare. So they were quite difficult to photograph.
Wendy and I both liked Jennifer McCurdy‘s intricately formed Butterfly Vessel and she liked pottery works by Bill Glass, including Star Faces and Booger Snakes. The Pair of Sea Urchins by Maggie Barnes was particularly fine slipware which looked quite organic with its irregularly shaped holes and beautiful patterns.
We dawdled at the museum so that we could enjoy a late lunch at the nearby Abuelo’s, sitting down in an alcove by a rack of children’s art books. I was very amused by When Pigasso Met Mootisse by Nina Laden; you can enjoy it online. It was very bold and colorful, with a fun play on Matisse’s reclining nudes, such as Blue Nude, and a hilarious depiction of Picasso’s actual response in Young Ladies of Avignon. There is even some splattering à la Jackson Pollack when the two rivals meet in this well-executed book.
Before we left for our late lunch and journey home, we purchased some treats at the Eleven restaurant in the museum, but regretted they did not have the wonderful chocolate-mocha cupcakes we’d enjoyed previously. The rain prevented us from exploring the grounds much, although we did walk the Orchard Trail under our umbrellas and noticed a beautiful tapering metal pole with an interesting crown out among the trees. It didn’t seem to be a flagpole, and we wondered if it was an art installation or something more functional, such as a sensor or antenna. It isn’t listed as an art piece on their website, so perhaps it is the latter.
Our long weekend visit to northwest Arkansas was a great way to celebrate the beginning of summer break. No doubt we’ll have more excursions, albeit restricted by summer weather, and we’ve already planned out a trip westward in late June and early July to New Mexico, with a focus on the beautiful and relaxing Santa Fe.