Last Thursday evening, the Lowe Art Museum buzzed as a steady flow of students and members of the art community explored the galleries during Lowe After Hours, an event that runs the first Thursday of each month from 7-9 p.m.
Guests enjoyed complimentary food and drinks sponsored by Bacardi, Rex Goliath and Cabot Cheese.
Nixing the usual pristine silence of an art museum, a DJ played songs such as “Lean On” by Major Lazer and “Vivir Mi Vida” by Marc Anthony.
Lowe After Hours has been held for the last decade. Usually, more than 100 people attend.
Janie Graulich, a staff member in Visitor Services, said that the event is held to encourage Lowe membership and to show students what the on-campus museum has to offer.
“Most students don’t even realize that there is an art museum here … [admission] is offered to them complimentary,” Graulich said.
While new visitors to the Lowe might be under the impression that art museums are stuffy and quiet, Lowe After Hours challenges that notion. Guests drink liquor and eat snacks while exploring the galleries. Music blasts in the background as visitors socialize and casually take in the art around them.
The Ben Tobin Gallery, which features modern and abstract works of art, is one of the most popular galleries. Featured pieces include the Andy Warhol collection of Mao prints, a video of a blinking eye, a neon sign and a giant horse sculpture.
All galleries are open to guests during the event. The variety of art is vast, ranging from glass-blown pieces in the Palley Pavilion to Native American works in the Alfred I. Barton Wing.
On Thursday, the majority of the attendees were graduate students. The first 50 graduate students that arrived received free event admission. At every Lowe After Hours event, Lowe members can attend for free and non-members can buy a ticket for $12.50.
David Breyer, an undergraduate student who works at the Lowe, said that more undergraduate students used to attend the event, but those numbers have trickled down in recent years. However, the staff is hopeful that this will turn back around.
Breyer also said that the Lowe is interested in getting students more involved by possibly hiring a student DJ in the future.
Nick Remijan, another student employee, said that the event is a valuable experience for all undergraduate students.
Even if students are not artistically inclined, Remijan said Lowe After Hours is a social event where attendees can meet people who are involved with the art community, helping students to become more engaged with art.
“I think that everyone should be well-versed in the arts,” Remijan said. “The more knowledge, the better.”