Crystal Bridges announces artists for new Distinguished Speaker Series

Courtesy photos

What do architect Thom Mayne, food critic Ruth Reichl, actor Cheech Marin, and artists Judy Chicago, Faith Ringgold and Nick Cave have in common?

In addition to being incredibly interesting human beings, they are also all coming to Crystal Bridges in 2016 to speak as part of the museum’s Distinguished Speaker Series.

The museum announced the lineup of speakers this week, which will kick off this spring with a talk by artist Faith Ringgold on Friday, March 18.

Ringgold will discuss her work, including her Maya’s Quilt of Life pice now on display in the museum’s 1940s to Now gallery. She will also touch on her career as an artist, activist, author, teacher, and parent, as well as her first-hand accounts of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.

Architect and thought leader Thom Mayne will speak on May 12 on how architecture connects us with people and landscape. Mayne founded Morphosis Architecture as a collective architectural practice engaged in cross-disciplinary research and design such as the NYC Cooper Union Building and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas.

Author, food critic, and judge on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, Ruth Reichl will speak on Friday, June 10. Reichl will discuss her career as a food critic, writer, and editor for some of the best known publications in the world, including the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and the now-closed Gourmet Magazine.

Actor Cheech Marin will speak on Friday, July 15 on his love of art and the events that sparked his interest in collecting it. Marin has amassed arguably one of the preeminent private collection of Chicano art in the nation.

Artist and educator Judy Chicago will visit the museum on Friday, Sept. 16. Chicago will participate in a conversation with Crystal Bridges curator Chad Alligood and two artists from the museum’s State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now exhibition abotu the emergence of women artists from the 1950s to now.

Visual artist Nick Cave will conclude the 2016 series with a discussion with curator Alligood set for Friday, Dec. 2. Cave will discuss about his work, including his Soundsuits in Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection.

All six events will take place in the museum’s great hall. Tickets to each event are $10, or $8 for Crystal Bridges members.

To purchase, visit, or call 479-657-2335.

This article is sponsored by First Security Bank. For more great stories of Arkansas food, travel, sports, music and more, visit