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21c Announces Contest to Choose the Color of the Bentonville Penguins

Online Voting Begins Today on 21c Museum Hotels’ Facebook Page

PRESS RELEASE – 21c Museum Hotel announced today that a flock of the company’s signature, limited edition penguin sculptures by Italian artists Cracking Art Group will travel to Bentonville, but the color is up to 21c Museum Hotels’ fans and residents of Northwest Arkansas. Online voting begins today on the 21c Museum Hotels Facebook page (, and fans may choose from orange, fuchsia or green. The hotel, scheduled to the first quarter of 2013, will combine a contemporary art museum, 104 room hotel and The Hive restaurant led by chef Matthew McClure.

“We are inspired by the communal spirit of Bentonville,” said Steve Wilson, Founder and CEO, 21c Museum Hotels. “We hope that the hotel’s flock of penguins will become a symbol for this community as the Red Penguin has in Louisville, and we are eager to see which color the people here embrace as their own.”

Online voting begins on Monday, October 29, and will be open until Thursday, November 29. Votes will be collected at 21c Museum Hotels’ Facebook page ( The winning color will be announced in early December.

Cracking Art Group’s Red Penguin sculptures were first exhibited at 21c Louisville in 2006. Brown and Wilson purchased the sculptures after seeing them perched around the city at the 2005 Venice Biennale as part of a public art project. The penguins were so popular with visitors to 21c that they have remained on permanent exhibition.

“The public really chose the penguins,” says Wilson. “They were part of our opening exhibition in Louisville and people couldn’t help but interact with them. They would move them around, take photos with them, take them to dinner and to their rooms. Then our team got in on the fun and now we have penguins moving around all over the property. They have really become an icon, and are emblematic of our mission to show people the interactive nature of contemporary art.”

The mission of Cracking Art Group is to raise awareness of environmental issues and the use and misuse of natural resources by creating artworks with materials derived from petroleum products. The group’s work has been exhibited widely throughout Europe. Each new 21c Museum Hotel will have its own flock of penguins.

About 21c Museum Hotel
21c Museum Hotel Bentonville, opening in the first quarter of 2013, is a combination boutique hotel, contemporary art museum and restaurant modeled after the award-winning flagship in Louisville, Kentucky. Building on its mission of engaging the public with contemporary art and supporting the revitalization of American downtowns, 21c Bentonville will feature 12,000 square feet of museum, meeting and event space. The museum will exhibit the work of living artists and will be open free of charge to the public. An outdoor sculpture garden will complement the interior museum galleries. These spaces will serve as a key link in the emerging arts promenade that connects downtown Bentonville to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The hotel will incorporate 104 guest rooms—including a one-bedroom 21c Suite with a terrace—that embrace the founders’ ethos of “living with art.” Architect Deborah Berke’s design integrates extensive natural lighting throughout the 100,000 square foot property, which will also feature a spacious ballroom and state-of-the-art meeting and conference rooms, outdoor spaces for private functions and The Hive restaurant. Led by chef and Arkansas native Matthew McClure, The Hive will emphasize the unique culinary identity and ingredients of Arkansas, while articulating McClure’s approach to refined country cuisine.


For press information contact:
Stephanie Greene