The Momentary, a museum of contemporary visual and performimg art in Bentonville.

The Walton family’s latest artistic venture in Bentonville, the Momentary, a multidisciplinary venue for contemporary art modeled on Mass Moca, will open on 2/22/20, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announced yesterday. Crystal Bridges opened on 11/11/11, so perhaps we should have guessed the date of the Momentary, which is a project of Alice Walton’s nephews Tom and Steuart Walton.

“State of the Art II,” focusing on emerging artists, will be the opening exhibit at the Momentary (and will be at Crystal Bridges as well). It follows up on the 2014 exhibition “State of the Art: Discovering American Art” curated by former CBMAA director Don Bacigalupi and which featured four artists from Arkansas: Delita Martin, John Salvest, Guy Bell and Linda Lopez. It will run through May 24. Lauren Haynes, curator of contemporary art at Crystal Bridges and visual arts at the Momentary; Alejo Benedetti, CBM assistant curator of contemporary art; and Allison Glenn, associate curator, are developing the exhibition.

“State of the Art II” at the Momentary will be followed by “Nick Cave: Until,” an installation by the famed performance artist and the creator of the Soundsuit. “Until” addresses gun violence, race relations and gender politics, and will run July 18-Jan. 3, 2021. Cave told the New York Times: “I had been thinking about gun violence and racism colliding. And then I wondered: Is there racism in heaven? That’s how this piece came about.”


The Momentary, located in the 63,000-square-foot former Kraft Foods cheese factory at 507 SE E St., will also feature a concert venue, a theater, a studio kitchen, cafe, bar and open studios. Lieven Bertels, formerly of Amsterdam, was hired from the Leeuwarden-Frisian 2018 European Capital of Culture as director in 2017.