Any event claiming to be held “underground” makes us wonder: Will it be like Prohibition-era speakeasies where covert guests climb down staircases, or more like a loud, echoing party in the tunnel of an underground subway?
Underground@The Hunter, set for 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23, at The Hunter Museum of American Art, will combine class and fervor in a night fit for Gatsby himself. All the traditional aspects of a gallery event will be observed, such as finger food, wine and beer, and music. But rather than mingling in the spacious rooms overlooking the river and Art District, attendees will be exploring the museum’s basement, repurposed for this event as an underground hub of art and culture.
Once guests make it to their final destination, they can participate in a silent auction geared toward the new collector. A few of the more striking pieces available include two of Marica Goldstein’s haunting midnight walkers in oil paintings, an abstract colorful landscape (or portrait?) by Methec and a photograph from the “Urban Jungle Series” by Herb Williams. These pieces are stirring and modern—a perfect addition to any budding collection. You may have to sit quietly with your number to wait for each piece to come up, but politeness will pay off when there is a cool new piece of art in hand.
Not so for the next part of the night, as the “Smash and Grab” event is anything but calm and reserved. With a suggested donation of $25, Underground-lings can be entered into a drawing and names will be drawn throughout the night. Attendees whose tickets are drawn have 30 seconds to enter the Smash and Grab Gallery to grab a work of art to add to their personal collections. Notable pieces from local and regional artists include a coral and turquoise coral necklace by Katie Jones, the candy shop close up “Untitled” by Marcelo Machado, and the eerie watercolor “Across the River” by Dorothy Gannon. Actually grabbing these pieces may sound tricky, but we’re sure our readers will have no trouble sprinting faster than everyone else, should their name be called. Just don’t actually smash anything on your way there.
This is the sixth year for the Underground, hosted by Avant-Art, the Hunter’s young-minded contemporary group, that offers food, beverages and a chance to party in the basement of the Hunter. Live music will be provided by Strung Like A Horse.
Advance tickets are $40 per person for members of Avant-Art, $50 for non-Avant-Art members and $60 at the door. Tickets include event admission, food, beer, wine, signature cocktails and soft drinks and can be purchased online at huntermuseum.org, by calling (423) 267-0968 or at the door. Images of all art in the silent auction and Smash and Grab gallery are also available online at the Hunter’s website.