BENTONVILLE â" Northwest Arkansas' new contemporary art space opened its doors to press on Friday morning before debuting to the public Saturday.
The Momentary is also open to members on Friday, and eager guests began teeming into the venue promptly at 10 a.m.
The Momentary is a 63,000-square-foot venue in a former Kraft Foods cheese plant in the market district of southeast Bentonville. The region has awaited its opening since Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Momentary's owner, announced its intentions for the land in 2016.
The nonprofit venue was inspired by the vision of Tom, Olivia and Steuart Walton, who welcomed founding funders at a preopening celebration Thursday night. Tom and Steuart Walton are grandchildren of Walmart founder Sam Walton.
The Walton Family Foundation is supporting the project to enhance the quality of life in the region by cultivating arts and cultural experiences and providing opportunities for education, engagement and enjoyment, said Emily Neuman, Momentary public relations manager.
"We're very much wanting a place where people can come together and enjoy art and have it be part of their everyday life," Neuman said.
The campus includes multiple galleries, flexible performance spaces, an Onyx Coffee Lab location, a fast-casual restaurant (The Breakroom), a rooftop bar (Tower Bar), outdoor gathering spaces and an outdoor concert area under a canopy.
"As the building opens and brings more artists in, it will show us the potential of this space and what it can be," Lauren Haynes, curator of visual arts at the Momentary and curator of contemporary art at Crystal Bridges, told press this morning. "We're hoping visitors will find something different every time they come back."
Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.