I blame Hollywood – or maybe more specifically Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and mid-series episodes of Six Feet Under – for my long-standing desire to cause mischief in an art museum.
And thanks to the Brown-Forman Art After Dark series at the Speed Art Museum  Friday night, this odd fascination of mine has now been satisfied.
Maybe it is the contrast between the structure of an art institution and the potential chaos of a cocktail party – but little seems more hip and dangerous than drinking beer while standing between classic sculptures and priceless canvases and listening to inebriated ladies sing Patti Smith and Bob Dylan.
The third event in a series that premiered last October at the Speed, Friday night’s fun focused on the theme “Fame,” taking cues from the work of Andy Warhol and ‘70’s rock and roll excess. The evening featured karaoke with a live backing band (Scott Anthony and the Factory Five with each member dressed in over-the-top costuming) and various interactive exhibits and activities.
You could be part of an interactive video project, make your own screen-printed cape to bring out your inner superhero, recreate a Warhol painting with construction paper – or even join in on a group paint-by-numbers project. Add in tons of cocktail shrimp and fresh fruit from Liquor Barn and specialty cocktails from Brown-Forman, and even the muggy heat in the courtyard and funky smell in the atrium couldn’t put a damper on the extreme amount of fun being experienced.
While an art museum is usually the first place expected to practice a little elitism, the Speed Museum should be commended for not only making a truly worthwhile event – but keeping it affordable at $15 for non-members (and only $5 for members and students).
Photos: Brian Eichenberger