PRESS RELEASE – 21c Museum Hotel Bentonville, opening the first quarter of 2013, will present an outdoor contemporary art installation of animalistic proportions in conjunction with ArtsFest 2012. For the month of June, a group of snails, an “escargatoire,” will appear in trees and on rooftops surrounding the Bentonville Square. Supporting 21c’s mission of sharing new art with new audiences through programming both in the museum and beyond the gallery walls, this pop-up exhibition is emblematic of the type of interactive contemporary art experience that people can expect once the hotel and museum are open at the corner of NE A and Blake Streets.
Alice Gray Stites, Chief Curator and Director of Art Programming for 21c Museum Hotels notes, “21c Museum Hotel seeks to integrate contemporary art into everyday life through innovative programming. We are thrilled to be coming to a community with a great appreciation for the arts, and look forward to adding to the vibrant cultural resources of Northwest Arkansas.”
The Pink Snails were created by the art collective Cracking Art, also responsible for 21c Museum Hotels’ iconic penguins. Driven by a mission to raise environmental awareness, Cracking Art makes each animal from recycled plastic found in landfills, and their work explores intersections between natural and artificial life. The snail, explains Cracking Art founder Renzo Nucara, carries its shelter on its back, thus addressing where and how we live; the snail moves slowly through the world, reminding us to slow down, to pause and reflect; the spiral of the snail shell resembles an ear, which may, “remind people to listen;” and the spiral design recalls the @ symbol associated with email (in Italy, the @ symbol is called a snail), referencing digital communication. The name “cracking art” refers to the chemical reaction that occurs when converting raw crude oil into plastic, or the moment when natural becomes artificial. Founded in 1993, Cracking Art has created over 600 exhibitions worldwide.
About 21c Museum Hotel
21c Museum Hotel Bentonville, opening in 2013, is a combination boutique hotel, contemporary art museum and restaurant modeled after the award-winning 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. Building on its mission of engaging the public with contemporary art and supporting the revitalization of American downtowns, the main focal point of 21c Bentonville will be 12,000 square feet of museum, meeting and event space. The museum will exhibit the work of living artists and be open free of charge to the public. An outdoor sculpture garden will complement the interior museum galleries. These spaces serve as a key link in the emerging arts promenade that connects downtown Bentonville to the brand new Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Architect Deborah Berke’s design integrates extensive natural lighting throughout the 100,000 square foot property, which will also feature a 125-seat restaurant, spacious ballroom and state-of-the-art meeting and board rooms as well as outdoor spaces for private functions. 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.”
About 21c Museum Hotels
Founded in 2007, 21c Museum Hotels is a growing company that oversees the expansion and management of 21c Museum Hotel nationally. 21c Museum Hotel was founded in Louisville, Kentucky by Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, preservationists and arts patrons, who had a vision for bringing art into people’s daily lives and supporting the revitalization of their hometown. The flagship property combines a 90-room boutique hotel, contemporary art museum, award-winning restaurant, and cultural civic center in the heart of downtown Louisville. With 9,000 square feet of art-filled meeting and event space, 21c guests enjoy authentic Southern hospitality while exploring the work of contemporary artists in North America’s only museum dedicated solely to art of the 21st Century. Voted among the top 10 hotels in the world in 2009, 2010 and 2011 in the Condé Nast Traveler annual Readers’ Choice Awards, 21c Museum Hotel is redefining the art of hospitality. With the success of the Louisville property and with strong local partners who share the belief that art can be an economic driver for a community, 21c is expanding outside of Louisville. Hotels are under construction in Bentonville, AR and Cincinnati, OH and a project was announced in Lexington, KY.
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