Tyra Wu ‘19 Assistant News Editor
Night at Your Museum is an annual after-hours, student-only event hosted by the Smith College Art Museum featuring live music, food and crafts. This year’s theme was inspired by the Mediterranean, featuring Mediterranean-style mocktails, appetizers and desserts. Students were also invited to dress as their favorite deities. The event took place in the Brown Fine Arts Center Atrium in the Museum of Art on Feb. 24, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
In addition to SCMA’s expansive collection, students were also invited to purview the special exhibition, Leisure and Luxury in the Age of Nero: The Villas of Oplontis Near Pompeii. This exhibition centers on the ancient town of Oplontis, a site that was buried and preserved when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 C.E. It is the first major exhibition to address this site rather than the more famous sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Excavations have revealed many pieces including sculpture, jewelry and everyday utilitarian objects. SCMA is one of three national venues for the exhibition, as well as the only East Coast venue. For those who did not see the exhibit, it will be at the SCMA until Aug. 13. In celebration of this exhibit, the museum was decorated like an Italian villa, complete with centerpieces overflowing with Mediterranean snacks.
WOZQ, Smith College’s F.M. radio station, was also present at the event, DJ-ing music throughout the night. Many students chose to dress up, wearing togas and flowy dresses as well as elaborate headpieces. There was also hands-on art making provided, in which students could choose between making a bracelet, headpiece or necklace.
“I loved seeing everyone dressed up for the theme,” Laura Krok-Horton ’17 said. “Some students did a fantastic job with their outfits and make-shift crowns. The event allowed for a lot of creativity and excitement.”
In preparation for the event, the SCMA held a student-design contest to create a special Snapchat filter. Students submitted a design for a filter reflecting the museum’s theme. The winner was Erika Yoshii ’17. The museum also offered Polaroid pictures for the students to take with friends during the event.
“I really liked that they took Polaroid pictures during the event because we were able to walk away with a tangible memory from the night,” Ali Meneghetti ’19 said.
Night at Your Museum began in 2011 as a student-focused marketing and membership initiative for SCMA. Maggie Lind Newey and the late Ann Musser furthered the event in order to create memorable museum experiences for students. Night at Your Museum serves as a special time for students to dress up, spend time with their peers and enjoy the museum.
“I think events like Night at Your Museum, that draw a wide range of students, are important because the museum is an asset that we often take for granted,” Meneghetti said. “It also helps expose people to the museum who wouldn’t normally be interested in coming.”
Krok-Horton also agreed that Night at Your Museum was an important reminder of the asset the museum is to the Smith community. “This event is a great way for students to get connected with their museum in a fun, accessible way. Sometimes students don’t have time to visit the museum, or forget that we have such a beautiful collection. Night at Your Museum is a fun reminder of the hard work that the museum does.”