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Posted at 10:51 AM ET, 07/25/2008

Drinks With a Side of Art

By Stephanie Merry

I occasionally find myself thinking about all I could accomplish on weekdays if I didn't work: grocery shopping without crashing into people with my cart, hitting up the gym without having to wait for a treadmill, and going to galleries, because most are closed by the time I get off work and then too crowded on a Saturday afternoon.

The Phillips, like a number of other galleries, is remedying this situation by extending their hours to 8:30 one night a week. Starting last night and for the next four Thursdays, you can trade in your typical it's-almost-Friday happy hour for a glass of wine, some jazz and a taste of the abstract from Diebenkorn or photography from Brett Weston, among others.

From what I've heard about the last Hirshhorn After Hours, Phillips After 5 is a far less rowdy affair (ahem -- to the people pushing each other into art at the Hirshhorn, I'm talking to you).

There was a wine tasting by Best Cellars in addition to two cash bars and lots of space to roam and look at paintings. Most people congregated in the music room, which housed snacks and the live music. The evenings also include gallery talks on a variety of topics.

Meanwhile, if you prefer your art mixed with a little dancing, tonight marks the beginning of NMWA Nights, the nighttime series at the National Museum for Women in the Arts. From 9 p.m. to midnight, you can see the current exhibitions, dance to tunes from the '80s and '90s, compete at Dance Dance Revolution and sample the goods from Georgetown Cupcake. The $10 entry fee includes one drink ticket.

I know the last Hirshhorn After Hours turned out to be somewhat divisive; let us know in the comments if you think these kinds of events are a good way to get some culture in your life.

-- Stephanie

By Stephanie Merry  | July 25, 2008; 10:51 AM ET
Categories:  Events, Museums  
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I haven't been to a Hirshhorn After Hours, but it sounds fun. The crowds are getting younger? Good! The art scene desparately needs new, younger blood (no matter how snooty some would prefer to keep it). It'll continue to wither otherwise. The folks having fun there at night are more likely to be there looking at art during the day. For the Smithsonian, that's mission accomplished, eh?

And I suspect the person complaining about "23 year olds in minidresses" is old and fat and doesn't like to be reminded of the fact. She should hit the gym instead of complaining about people dressing appropriate to their body type. Eh?

Posted by: OmarS | July 28, 2008 1:38 AM | Report abuse

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