21c Museum Hotel's snail trail will soon lead to Bentonville, the museum's director of art programming announced today. The "escargatoire" of pink snails "will appear in trees and on rooftops surrounding the Bentonville Square" during the month of June, when Bentonville celebrates ArtsFest 2012, the press release said.
The art collective Cracking Art makes the snails from recycled plastic. Lest you think there was something about Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art or Arkansas that suggested the snail image, understand that pink snails are 21c's thing, and have been placed pink snail groups in about 10 other locations by the hotel, according to its website.
According to Cracking Art founder Renzo Nucara, the snail was chosen because it "carries its shelter on its back, thus addressing where and how we live; the snail moves slowly through the world, reminding us to slow down, to pause and reflect; the spiral of the snail shell resembles an ear, which may, “remind people to listen;” and the spiral design recalls the @ symbol associated with email (in Italy, the @ symbol is called a snail), referencing digital communication."
The release also explains the name of the collective: Cracking is the chemical reaction that occurs when raw crude oil is converted into plastic, "or the moment when natural becomes artificial."
The 21c hotel is slated to open in 2013 in Bentonville just off the square, near the southern walking entrance to Crystal Bridges.