by Amy McGinnis
Get up, Dress up, Show up
The freaks come out at night! At least that’s what it seems like when you attend an ArtM|X party hosted by the Crocker Art Museum in collaboration with the M|X downtown. People tend to show up in costume if the spirit moves them. The lower level has a large open area designed for parties; you can even have your wedding there! Every month is a different theme and October’s theme was Dark Caberet. October’s ArtM|X boasted performances by NBC’s The Voice contestant Kat Robichaud’s Misfit Cabaret; and as a weirdly wonderful compliment, DJ Katharos. There were aerial performances to delight your visual senses. Costumes were risqué with many a corset in sight. Lace and top hats were a go-to look for party goers. These parties are special because they are held on the second Thursday of the month, and go from 5:00PM – 9:30PM so you can go straight from work and still make it home at a reasonable hour. You have to decide for yourself the level of fabulousness you can sustain in your own life.
Eat, Drink, and be Merry my Lovelies!
There are usually 4 bars hosted by the M|X – offering happy hour specials, as well as themed cocktails specials (be sure to check out happy hour at 6:00PM) to compliment the theme of the month. October’s feature was the Dark and Stormy, a rum drink with ginger beer and a splash of lime juice. Crocker Café is open for guests until 8:00PM and offers a healthy casual menu including a grab and go sandwich/salad case, bottles of wine, and a counter with grill options; vegan and vegetarian options. The creative cocktails are as much a draw as as the entertainment and the traveling exhibits. I have been told on more than one occasion that drinks are not allowed in the upstairs galleries, so plan your drinking accordingly. To optimize your experience, take advantage of your time at the Crocker by making sure to at least view the current exhibit. Don’t worry, there will still be time for dancing – you will always find at least 2 stages in operation, a DJ hosted stage out on the patio, and live music on the inside stage.
My first ArtM|X party was attended with a very dear soul-sister, a woman I have known for many years. We had so much fun that we told ourselves that if we attended more than 3 more that year we would look into membership at the Crocker Art Museum. You can learn much more about the Museum itself, its mansion, and its storied past by visiting in person and seeing for yourself, or visiting virtually at its website www.crockerartmuseum.org. It is comprised of the historical Crocker Family mansion which has now been connected to the new ultra-modern gallery space creating a dynamic surrounded patio including a special water feature (a special delight at night events). My favorite part of the Crocker mansion is easily the ballroom because I just love intricate inlaid designs in the wood floor, and the oculus creates pure magic in the room. I can imagine the fancy balls and galas that would have taken place there every time I enter. After a little bit of research, my friend and I stumbled upon the best deal around. The Crocker does not define for you what a family is, so for $42.50 each per year we decided to become members. With membership, we get access to special performances, parties and events; access to museum entrance express line, and 10% off at the gift shop & café. Best wishes on your own art-venture!