Jewel Announces Collaboration with Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

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Jewel is already a multi-hyphenate, so why not add a few more titles to her ever-growing list of superlatives? The four-time Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter is embarking on a new adventure: curating and creating an immersive art experience at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Set to open with a VIP reception on May 3, 2024 before debuting to the public May 4, 2024 through July 28, 2024, the show is titled “The Portal: An Art Experience by Jewel.” The experience will be a feast for the senses, including ten artworks from Crystal Bridges’ own collection. Jewel has also created original pieces, including an oil painting of her son Kase, a sculpture, and a new song, which can be purchased on vinyl at the gift shop. In the evening, there will also be a conversation-led curated dinner meant to help museum-goers explore their inner realm through taste and smell.

Beyond the standard museum faire, the experience also uses technology to immerse guests further in. A hologram of Jewel using Proto Hologram technology will greet visitors as they enter, and each night there will be a 200-piece drone show over the Crystal Bridges’ pond.

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Jessica Ballabio

“As a storyteller, I love using technology in new mediums because it allows me to have somebody experience a story in a new way with less biases, and I think really receive a message in a more unguarded way,” she tells ELLE exclusively. “I wanted the entire experience to marry together the areas that I’ve really worked to refine over my lifetime. Music, storytelling, visual art, and behavioral health.”

For the Alaskan-raised singer, Crystal Bridges is a natural fit for the portal. “They really focus on American art and on democratizing art, are committed to innovation and experimentation, and I had my heart set on it,” she says. “The architecture [of the museum] is a work of art in and of itself. The setting that it’s in is stunning. It reminds me a lot of Alaska.”

Guests will also be asked to look inside themselves throughout their experience. The centering point of the show is the three spheres, a behavioral health philosophy developed by Jewel, who has been an advocate for mental wellness through her nonprofit the Inspiring Children Foundation.

I wanted the entire experience to marry together the areas that I’ve really worked to refine over my lifetime. Music, storytelling, visual art, and behavioral health.”

“The idea is that we each navigate through three spheres of reality every day, often without knowing it,” she says. “We have our inner sphere, which is our emotions, and our thoughts, and our feelings, and our heart’s desire. There’s the seen sphere, which is everything you can empirically touch. Then there’s the unseen realm, the great mystery that humans have been trying to define since the beginning of time. As we try to lift back the veil of the seen to peer into the unseen, it’s anything that gives you a sense of awe or wonder.”

The hope for the experience is that guests will be able to encounter all three spheres and find a more centered and unified self. “My personal belief is that mental health is a side effect or a result of when our three spheres are in alignment,” Jewel says. “The entire experience is designed to help you enter through a portal.”

“The Portal: An Art Experience by Jewel” is open to the public May 4, 2024 through July 28, 2024 at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

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