by Anne Brown/ May 2016

The Arts Company

Road trips are rapidly becoming true art adventures.

A particularly interesting new art destination road trip this year—Bentonville, Arkansas, a small town surrounded by rural landscapes—is fast becoming a destination for lovers of visual art. An important new American art museum—the Crystal Bridges Museum—has been thoughtfully placed near the heart of downtown Bentonville and is admission free.


Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas

I recently made my own road trip to this very small town. Once off the road and making my way to the much-touted museum, I happily stumbled across another treasure trove of contemporary art in downtown Bentonville—the 21c Museum Hotel, literally just a couple of blocks off the square. The 21c is a hotel concept distinguished from others by making contemporary art the hallmark of their business inside and out. Curated exhibits and collections are changed regularly and are open admission free to guests and others.

The 21c folks have Nashville in the loop for one of their signature hotels opening here next year just two blocks from the galleries on 5th Avenue of the Arts. Adding to museums and galleries already here, the 21c and the new Tennessee State Museum will soon add dimension to Nashville’s art appeal to tourists and residents.

Nashville, of course, has been a prime destination for music for decades. But public and private initiatives now underway—more museum development, more galleries, more artists, more organized art openings, and more public art all over town—are already adding new perspectives to the rich musical heritage indigenous to Nashville. In Nashville, the music scene is complemented by new energy in art, fashion, theatre, dance, opera, and more.

Music City is fast becoming a broader art destination, which promises to enhance the collaborative creative nature of Nashville.

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