Heels & Picks: ARTafterDARK goes posh
BY ERIN SMITH / Special to the Star-Advertiser
When you think of the word posh, what comes to mind? Is it Jay-Z and Beyonce on a yacht in the south of France? How about designer labels in the vein of Versace, Dior and Leger?
(For those of you who had Posh Spice of the Spice Girls come to mind, and now the song “Spice Up Your Life” is running through your head, I’m sorry I brought it up.)
Presented by the Honolulu Museum of Art
» Where: Honolulu Museum of Art, 900 S. Beretania St.
Or, how about the Honolulu Museum of Art? Stately, classy, inspiring, intergenerational and educational are words that immediately come to mind when thinking of the museum. But for one night only, the Honolulu Museum of Art wants you to put on your best posh outfit and join them for popular art, music and mingling event ARTafterDARK on Friday.
Every last Friday of the month from January through October, ARTafterDARK hosts art enthusiasts looking to socialize while enjoying the museum’s exhibits. It’s become so popular, guests are encouraged to arrive before sunset in order to ensure entry. This month, the party goes posh in the vein of all things opulent and includes a nod to international travel with sponsorship from globally-inspired lifestyle company Tori Richards.
Guests will be able to “relive the golden age of first class travel, dahling” by creating their own personalized luggage tags and learning how to shake what your mama gave you with dance troupe Shakti 808. The museum’s newest exhibition, “Art Deco Hawai‘i,” provides the period inspiration for this month’s party and will be open for exploration during the party.
The entertainment lineup will also feature two Honolulu Pulse bloggers — Christa “SuperCW” Wittmier will (wo)man the turntables that night, and yours truly will be on stage with my full band to perform some posh indie-rock around 8 p.m.
“I have been working on this set for a couple of weeks now,” Wittmier said. “It’s all the beautiful music that I can’t play anywhere else.”
Expect nu disco and house — music that Wittmier said will “put people in a good mood without realizing why.”
Another reason to look forward to this month’s ARTafterDARK are the refreshments. Kailua’s The Grove creates a new menu for each installment of the party to enchant the palette of the arts crowd. Having been to The Grove several times (it’s right around the corner from the Kailua beach cottage I live in with my boyfriend), I can attest to the quality of their offerings. The Grove’s fusion of comfort food and Pacific cuisine makes it among the top places to visit in Kailua for food enthusiasts.
This month’s ARTafterDARK includes curry chicken salad with endive boats, fresh fish, deconstructed Beef Wellington, and Israeli couscous with spicy eggplant. (Sounds like the perfect food for hungry musicians after rocking out, too!)
Art enthusiasts themselves, The Grove looks forward to creating a new menu each month.
“We are proud to be partners with the Honolulu Museum of Art’s Art After Dark series.” said general manager Daniel Kim. “With every month there’s a different theme, and we always bring new and exciting menu offerings and unique beverages to enhance the atmosphere.”
If the party seems geared towards exclusivity, it’s not what the Honolulu Museum of Art had in mind. ARTafterDARK is designed for art lovers of all ages to have a good time. Initially, it was created as a means to encourage younger generations to attend the museum; the idea was to expose young people to art in a more hip, evening setting. In recent years, it has evolved and grown so popular patrons of all ages flock to the HMA for this family-friendly event.
Organized and orchestrated by a group of volunteers, ARTafterDARK stems from a genuine respect for the arts. Much like the museum itself, built and created by the Cooke family, who donated their Beretania Street land in the 1920s to house the museum, it’s a labor of love.
“I’m so proud to be on the ARTafterDARK advisory board and to be co-chairing this Friday’s … event,” said board member Loryn Guiffre. “With different themes and sponsors monthly, each event has a unique feel. Great food, full-service bars, live music, DJs and creative activities for the crowd are always a fixture and each time we aim to impress.”
For my part, I had hoped to arrive atop a tiger. It’s a logistical nightmare, though, and the Honolulu Zoo doesn’t seem thrilled with my idea. And I can’t find a decent trainer to get me up to speed on controlling a tiger in a public space, so I guess I’ll stick to singing this time.
If you are a member of the HMA, entry to ARTafterDARK is free. For non-members, admission is $10. Parking is available along Beretania and Kinau streets after 6 p.m.; paid parking is available at 1111 Victoria St. (entrances on Beretania and Young streets, lot closes at 11 p.m.) for $5 up to five hours, $2 for each additional 30 minutes (or fraction thereof).
Erin Smith is a singer and guitarist who performs as a solo artist and with Maui-based Na Hoku Hanohano Award-nominated band The Throwdowns. Born in Canada, she moved to Hawaii in 2004 and now resides in Kailua. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.