Nelson-Atkins Museum Holds College Night

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is trying to coordinate more programming for young people that is unexpected and fun, said Sarah Bluvas, Coordinator of Public Programs at the museum.

The Nelson-Atkins, in collaboration with the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and the Kansas City Art Institute, held College Night: Get Lost in the Arts on Friday April 12.

“We’re all so close and we’re kind of isolated from each other, even though we’re all on the same campus,” Bluvas said. “Our idea was that, if we’re all lively on the same night, maybe people would come to each of our locations.”

College Night at the Nelson-Atkins featured a live cinema and sound performance in the Electromediascope series, Pecha Kucha presentations by KCAI students, and artist-led gallery tours.

Glenn North, poet-in-residence at the American Jazz Museum, gave gallery tours through the Charlotte Street Artists’ Walks series. His tour explored how pieces of art in the Nelson-Atkins informed his poetry and he stressed the importance of understanding how one art medium influences another.

“We can all be inspired in some way by all the various disciplines,” North said.

Glenn North discusses "Memento #5" by Kerry James Marshall during his guided tour of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art on Friday April 12. North led a tour through different areas of the museum like the Contemporary Wing and the Medieval Gallery.
Glenn North discusses “Memento #5” by Kerry James Marshall during his guided tour of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art on Friday April 12. North led a tour through different areas of the museum like the Contemporary Wing and the Medieval Gallery.

Bluvas explained that events like College Night are meant to show that art museums are places that are more than just about art hanging on walls.

“We want people to enjoy the art and engage with the art in some capacity, but you don’t have to just stand and stare at a painting in order to engage with art,” Bluvas said. “There are other outlets and other avenues to do that.”

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