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www.smallmarketmeetings.com Meeting Ideas 16 Meetings and Masterpieces Meeting spaces at Crystal Bridges are surrounded by art, beautiful woodlands and water features. Art museums make inspiring venues for gatherings By Rachel Carter By Dero Sanford, courtesy Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art W e are all products of our environment, so the saying goes. And that's especially true at art museums, where visitors are surrounded by endless variations of beauty, color and form. When a planner chooses to have an event at an art museum, that environment can't help but influence both the meeting's ambiance and its attendees. Groups can take advantage of their surroundings either by gathering in a gallery or exploring one during their breaks, by scheduling guided group tours or by arranging hands-on art activities that can be cus- tomized to tie in with their meetings. If you want to inspire creativity at your next meeting or event, con- sider holding it at one of these art museums. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Bentonville, Arkansas The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art owns an extensive col- lection of Colonial, 19th-century, modern and contemporary pieces, but the sparkling white and glass building and the lush 120 acres sur- rounding it are themselves works of art. Architect Moshe Safdie designed the modern structure as a series of pavilions that sit on and stretch over two man-made ponds fed by Crystal Springs. In the galleries, visitors are surrounded by priceless art, but in the spaces in between, walls of windows provide views of the blue ponds and the green forest canopy, giving attendees a constant intertwining of art and nature.