Art-filled Hotel Opens Near Crystal Bridges Museum

  • 21c Museum Hotels co-founder and CEO Steve Wilson.

    21c Museum Hotels co-founder and CEO Steve Wilson.

Over the weekend, 21c Museum Hotels celebrated a grand opening of its third property in Bentonville, Arkansas, near the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art.

Located just north of Bentonville's historic square and a quarter mile from the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the 104-room hotel (200 NE A Street) features 12,000 square feet of exhibition space solely dedicated to exhibiting art of the 21st century.

Opening events for 21c Bentonville were designed to highlight the contemporary art on view at the hotel property and included artists Slater Bradley, Ed Lachman, Chris Doyle, Anne Peabody and Sam van Aken.

The program culminated with a grand opening Pajama Party on Saturday evening featuring an immersive projection by pioneering software artist Scott Draves and performances by Brooklyn-based multi-disciplinary artist Derrick Adams; Kenny Belaey, nine-time world champion Belgian trials cyclist; Travis Graves, American Parkour trainer; Margie Perez, a New Orleans-based singer; Aerialists Tatyana Petruk and Alexandra Apjarova; and singer Judd Burns and pianist S. Michael Shuman from the University of Arkansas.

The 21c Museum Hotel is open to the public free of charge, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and offers rotating curated exhibitions, site-specific multi-media installations and other cultural programming such as poetry readings, film screenings, artist lectures and live performances.

Deborah Berke designed the 100,000-square-foot property. Berke’s design balances grand public spaces scaled to suit an extensive contemporary art collection with intimate, inviting private spaces.

The property’s public and gallery spaces are elegant and modern with high ceilings, cool tones and polished concrete floors, while guest rooms, also designed by Berke, offer a distinctly residential feel with custom designed furniture in subtle neutral tones.

21c Bentonville is also home to The Hive restaurant led by executive chef and Arkansas native Matthew McClure, whose menu highlights the ingredients and culinary landscape of the state.

21c Museum Hotels was founded by Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, contemporary art collectors and preservationists who are committed to bringing works of art to the public through innovative exhibitions and programs that integrate contemporary art into daily life.

For their first property in 2006, the couple selected architect Deborah Berke to convert five 19th century tobacco and bourbon warehouses into a 90-room boutique hotel, contemporary art museum, award-winning restaurant Proof on Main and cultural civic center in the heart of downtown Louisville. With the success of the Louisville property came opportunities for growth.

21c has since opened hotels in Cincinnati, OH and Bentonville, AR and plans have been announced for properties in Lexington, KY and Durham, NC. Each 21c is unique in its site-specific art installations, architecture, design and restaurant.

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