by Patricia Grandjean
Apr 18, 2012
02:03 PMBox Office
The Art of Mixing
Even before the current economic troubles, arts organizations felt the squeeze of tightening money belts. In an attempt to attract more patrons, some art galleries began mixing art with after-hours social events, and the revelers came like moths to a flame.
One of the best-known after-hours soirées is Creative Cocktail Hour, which has been swinging at the independent art house and cinema Real Art Ways in Hartford (the third Thursday of each month from 6 to 10) for 10 years. Depending on the season, anywhere from 275 to 600 art lovers, artists and hipsters of all ages gather to view the exhibits and meet the artists, but most come to party with old friends or make new ones who share their artistic sensibilities and joie de vivre. It’s become such a celebrated social event that the gallery has hired a “vibe manager” to plan it. “Each month’s party marks the opening of a new exhibit,” says vibe manager Lori-Beth Muñoz (known as “LB”). “We try to draw people to art in a different way, but our primary commitment is to be open to everyone.” Muñoz brings in well-known DJs and live bands, and has also set up a live burlesque-style show in the cinema and, last month, staged a “puppet slam.” A variety of cocktails and free finger foods are available, with a special drink to honor the art or music.
On Thursday April 19, the opening of three exhibits will be celebrated: Ego Loser, by Johannes DeYoung, a series of short videos; Such is Your Luck by Steffani Jemison focuses on how luck, faith and accidents impact moments that matter and impact a person's life and Half Off, an exhibition curated by John O'Donnell of work by Phil Lique and Laura Marsh that explores thef American consumer culture through sculpture, works on paper, video and documented performance. Dancing with DJ Recess begins at 8.
For more info, call Real Art Ways at (860) 232-1006 or visit realartways.org.The Art of Mixing