The city came alive Friday night with fresh fare from local food trucks, craft beer, live music, interactive art and new exhibits at the Columbia Museum of Art with their Arts & Draughts event.
Approaching the museum, a sea of local art aficionados stood awaiting entrance to the event as they chowed down on quick dishes delivered by Bone-In Artisan Barbecue, the Wurst Wagen and the Belgian Waffle Truck. Some dressed in suits and others in jeans and their favorite band shirts, but all enjoyed the vast array of activities to enjoy once inside.
There was a little something for everyone at the event. Local bar The Whig offered samplings of their current selection, fulfilling the "draughts" promised in the title. For those who were hoping to remember their more youthful days, the museum hosted a scavenger hunt through one of the galleries.
“I enjoy coming out to these a lot,” said fourth-year studio art student, Anna Velicky, who worked the printmaking table at the event. “I really appreciate being able to have people do something interactive with art.”
In addition to making their own prints upstairs, guests could try their hand at collage and live figure drawings on the main floor as they jammed out to live bands such as Boo Hag, Junior Astronomers, Dear Blanca and Hey Rocco.
Or, if visitors wanted to first get inspired, they could walk through the new exhibit, REMIX: Theme and Variations in African-American Art, watch short films and “remixed” Shakespeare performances or take a unique perspective tour from Columbia artist, Dalvin Spann.
The upstairs fostered an entirely different environment. After walking through the more classical permanent art gallery, museumgoers could unleash their edgier, urban side in the loft area where DJ Preach Jacobs set the mood. Here, guests could even leave their mark on the museum on the graffiti-esque chalk walls of the space.
If this all sounds up your alley, but you missed the event, you need not worry.
“This happens about every three months, typically at the start of the new exhibits,” Max Ciarlone said, employee of three years and second-year environmental science student.
While Ciarlone recognized a lot of the same faces at the event, newcomers are always welcome. Third-year studio art student Alexandra Vegh came with a group of fellow students on a whim after hearing about the event through a sister of a friend. What she discovered surprised her.
“I think it’s really great,” Vegh said, said, who also expressed her interest in returning to Arts & Draughts. “I really like the exhibits they have, and there’s a lot of people here. I wasn’t expecting that.”
Ciarlone estimated that the event usually sees traffic of about 800 guests. However, Velicky, who has also previously worked the event, noted the increased popularity.
“This is definitely the biggest this has ever been,” Velicky said.
And for good reason. The event truly and uniquely merged together some of the best elements of Columbia’s artistry and culture, creating equal feelings of modernity, nostalgia and adventure.