September 16, 2019 | 74° F

Zimmerli ‘After Hours’ showcases talent in mixed mediums


Kimberly Balao, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, plays acoustic guitar covers and her original songs with the Zimmerli “Art After Hours” crowd.

The infamous $2 Tuesday is a weekly tradition for many college students, but for those who thirst for more than lukewarm beer at the same old bar every Tuesday night — stop by the Zimmerli for a night of acoustic performances, art exhibitions and chilled wine.

The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum offers a social event called “Art After Hours” on the first Tuesday of every month from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event is free to the public and offers a variety of free refreshments and a mini bar for guests over 21.

The evening begins with a private tour of that month’s feature exhibit, guided and narrated by one of the museums own curators, Christine Giviskos.

This month’s selected exhibition, “The Doctor is In: Medicine in French Prints” tells the story of how various artists portrayed doctors and medicine, particularly in the 19th century, through paintings and sketches.

“It’s so interesting that some of the issues we have now with modern medicine were alive back then,” said Giviskos, the associate curator of European art.

After browsing through a whirlwind of doctors gathered around hospital beds and assisting in childbirth, Giviskos guided us to the second part of the tour, the sixth selection of the “Big Ten: Art” series.

Honore Daumier’s sculpted busts, the “Celebrities of the Juste-Milieu,” were this month’s featured “Big Ten: Art” pieces. The glass case held a total of 36 caricature sculptures, made of unbaked clay and paint, representing prominent political figures during 1830s France.

“It’s been really lively on Tuesday nights,” Giviskos exclaimed “We’re getting a lot of people in the museum who have never been here before, which we love.”

She hopes that “Art After Hours” keeps growing and that more people realize the museum is open to everybody, not solely for faculty and students.

“We just want everyone to know that this is a real gem in central New Jersey. It’s free and we have a lot of things that you’ve probably never seen before,” she said, “And it’s a really fun place to come hang out and maybe learn something.”

After exploring the vast museum, one might feel as though the night is winding down, but before one could even think of heading home, the strumming of a guitar and the buzz of conversation attracted guests to gather toward the front of the museum for the “Live Vibes Coffeehouse” portion of the event.

“Live Vibes,” presented by RUPA, gives students a chance to showcase their talents through music. While students set up for their performances, guests chatted and mingled while munching on cookies and sipping on wine under the warm lights of the museum.

Kimberly Balao, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, had never attended “Art After Hours” but jumped at the opportunity to perform and share her talent.

Balao, who taught herself to play the guitar using YouTube videos at the age of 14, serenaded the crowd with her acoustic cover of “Marvin’s Room” by Drake and some of her own original work.

“It’s a chance for me to show my work,” she explained “I show my friends, and I love singing and songwriting, so when I get to sing for people, it’s a lot of fun.”

Balao also wanted to add that she’s dropping a mix-tape, “The City Takeover,” on March 23 and hopes her fellow students will keep an eye out for it next month.

The night continued with other performances from student musicians. Ravon Wright, a School of Arts and Sciences senior and an organizer at RUPA, said they hope to host other “Live Vibes” and art related events at the museum in the future.

“Art After Hours” is a great opportunity to break away from your regular routine, immerse yourself in creativity and culture and have a fun time appreciating art and music with your friends.

Danielle Gonzalez

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