Article by: Architect's Newspaper
The Momentary, a satellite contemporary art venue of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, reopened early last month—with limited capacity restrictions and safety measures in place—in downtown Bentonville, Arkansas, after being shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic just weeks after its highly anticipated opening. And while Bentonville’s so-called “living room for contemporary arts” waits patiently for the crisis to pass so it can once again host a fuller house, there’s been no opportunity lost in showcasing via photography the adaptive reuse led by Wheeler Kearns Architects. Just a few of the many shots of the compound captured by architectural photographer Tom Harris are featured below and in the above gallery.
In creating The Momentary, Wheeler Kearns, a Chicago-based firm noted for breathing life into overlooked buildings, was tasked with transforming a cavernous, 63,000-square-foot former cheese factory formerly operated by Kraft Foods from 1947 through 2013, into a “multidisciplinary space for visual and performing arts, culinary experiences, festivals, artists-in-residence, and more.” Like a multitude of other civic and cultural projects in and around fast-growing Northwest Arkansas, The Momentary is funded largely by the Walton Family Foundation. Olivia Walton, niece of Walmart heiress and Crystal Bridges founder Alice Walton, serves as The Momentary’s founding chairwoman.