If variety is the spice of life, you’re in for one spicy evening at the Bakersfield Museum of Art for its Art After Dark event.
“The combination of shows right now is incredibly compelling in regards to the variety and diversity of the artists on display,” said curator Rachel Wainwright.
That includes the current spring exhibitions — “Personal to Political: Celebrating the African American Artists of Paulson Fontaine Press,” “Under the Kern County Sky: Prapat Sirinavarat” and “Exploring the Figure: Selections from BMoA’s Permanent Collection” — along with two new shows: one by graduating seniors from Cal State Bakersfield’s Department of Art and Art History and another from students in BMoA’s ArtWorks program.
This will be the public reception for the CSUB show, featuring senior thesis work, which opened with a private event for students and their guests a couple of weeks ago.
Wainwright said there is an immediacy to the college and high school student works given that they were created within the community over the last year.
“The immediacy is captivating,” she said. “There are these shared experiences we’re seeing from a different point of view. With photographs of places and people we recognize, we’re seeing it from an artist’s eye. That’s where we begin to learn from the art, seeing from other people’s perspective.”
The event will include a free art project inspired by an ArtWorks piece by Leah Ambriz, a junior at Golden Valley High School.
Inspired by Ambriz’s “The Rig Move,” guests are invited to create a character, “informed by the process of graphic novels and in the vein of an illustrative work.”
Wainwright said the piece has a post-apocalyptic feel with a “strong narrative that the viewer gets to play in deciphering.”
Attendees can create their own character and a narrative in a small book they can take with them.
The curator said part of Art After Dark’s success is that it’s a multifaceted event, allowing guests to decide if they want to be a viewer, creator or a social butterfly.
“We try to create an experience where you can create your own adventure. We always try to have a project that you could do in 10 minutes but if you are engaged you could spend two hours on it. It’s been an experiment for us and some have been very successful.”
This evening of art, music and cocktails will also include music by DJ 4KJ and drinks from Tiki-Ko.
Along with an all-ages Blue Hawaii mocktail, the bar will also serve a mango cooler with Tom of Finland vodka, mango nectar, orange and lemon juice and orange curacao inspired by former Playboy food writer Thomas Mario; and the Halekulani cocktail, inspired by the House Without a Key lounge at Waikiki Beach’s Halekulani Hotel, made with Puncher’s Chance bourbon, pineapple, orange and lemon juice, grenadine and bitters.
The spirits for the cocktails are provided courtesy of Wolf Spirits Distillery, which sponsors the event along with Moneywise Wealth Management.
Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter: @realstefanidias.