Monday, December 26, 2011

Art and Booze

A couple of Fridays ago, I had a hot date with culture.  The Bergamot Station Arts Center in Santa Monica had an open house, and I ventured over to see what it was all about.  This wasn't my first time at Bergamot Station, but it had been at least a decade since I'd last been there (and never for an open house) so it seemed like an ideal opportunity to check it out again.  Also, an advantage of exploring the galleries during an event like this is that crowds offer invisibility--there's no pressure to talk to artists or to curators who tend to glom onto visitors when things aren't busy.
Bergamot Station consists of clusters of art galleries, plus the Santa Monica Museum of Art, located in what used to be a former rail station and industrial complex.  My previous visits to Bergamot Station were during normal daytime hours, and it was fairly deserted on both occasions.  On this night, however, the complex was packed full of cars and teeming with meandering visitors.  The museum and most of the galleries were open for viewing.  It was a pretty hopping event, and there were gourmet food trucks, a dj rocking out, carolers, and random people in costume.  A karaoke machine was set up for anyone who wanted to belt out a tune (anyone who did got 10% off at the museum store!).  Everyone seemed in a good mood and happy to be there to look at and to purchase art.
However, I soon found out why everyone was so cheerful...there was free wine EVERYWHERE.  Almost every gallery I visited offered complimentary wine so most people took advantage and helped themselves.  I should point out that this open house was free admission (entry into Bergamot Station and the galleries during normal hours is also no charge), so it was a free event with free booze.  How awesome is that??  If I hadn't been the driver that night, I probably would have partaken of some vino myself.  Alas.
I attended the event with a friend.  At some point, she and I took a break from our "culturing" to forage for dinner, and so we ended up queuing at the Crêpes Bonaparte food truck.  We ordered both savory crêpes ("SouthWestern Spice" for me; "In Da Club" for her) and dessert crêpes ("PCH" and "Spicy Apple Bottom").  The truck got my savory crêpe order wrong, and I ended up with what I'm guessing was the "Baby Bleu."  It was okay, but I was annoyed.  However, the desserts, which we shared, were delicious.  If I must judge, PCH (peanut butter/Nutella/banana) was much better than the Spicy Apple Bottom (cooked cinnamon apple/caramel/whipped cream).
So what of the art?  It was eclectically interesting and ranged from the cool to the funny to the "wtf."  As expected, I liked some works and didn't like others.  Likewise, I thought I understood some pieces and were baffled by others.  I did not purchase anything (as if I could afford it!). 
the plants growing in a car planter!
the funny--"most fuel efficient car," it had pedals for sweat-powered locomotion
the wtf--Romeo & Juliet by way of stuffed, real canaries
We spent a solid couple hours at Bergamot, and I think we were able to visit most, if not all, of the galleries within that time.  I enjoyed my evening, and my friend said the same.  We plan on coming again when there is another open house, whenever that might be.  Next time, however, my friend will be the designated driver.
"hand" soap bidding adieu

No comments:

Post a Comment