For the first time this year, the Triton Museum of Art held its popular Night@tritonmuseum.
Having cut back on the nights and debuting a lounge event earlier this year, the Triton, thanks to a grant from Silicon Valley Creates, put together a night event on July 31.
Featuring the School of Visual Philosophy’s Yori Seeger and student Nicolas VonBroen metalsmithing in and event favorites Vanessa Callanta, Michel Foley, Jojo Perea and Miguel Machuca, among others, demonstrating inside the rotunda, Friday’s night was bigger and better than the event’s debut last July (although still falling short of the surprising Nightmare@tritonmusuem last October).
In addition to artist demos, there were plenty of activities to keep guests busy throughout the night. From retro Spirograph to friendship bracelets, guests were encouraged to create art for themselves or paper bag puppets to use in performing monologues in “The Little Globe” theatre. Not only were guests invited to add to a community art project pyramid built by museum Preparator Bryan Callanta, they were asked to decorate a paper tie to participate in a penny auction.
Led by auctioneer and Assistant Registrar Myles Fenton and Chief Curator Preston Metcalf, the penny auction invited participants to put together, paint and create art throughout the evening only to put their artworks up for auction. Each piece was auctioned off over a trashcan where if the minimum one penny bid was not met, the item would be destroyed. Although a handful of entries were submitted, not one was tossed into the trash, and every single item was purchased for at least $1, with the two paper bag puppets assembled by Metcalf selling for $21.
“We had a gala event, which you have to pay to attend,” said Callanta. “I wanted to create something that anyone could walk into. It’s a community oriented museum and I wanted everyone to feel they could be a part of everything that we do here, whether it be making art, selling art or bidding on art. I think [the auction] is hilarious. It’s a success by my standards. I’m surprised people are participating in the auctions and I really hope this paves the way for future ones.”
School Board Trustee Christopher Stampolis was also impressed by the Triton’s event. “I wanted to support the Triton’s efforts and see firsthand the penny auction,” he said. “When young artists can actually walk away with a few dollars in their hands knowing that their creations were actually rewarded with commercial value, it will inspire many more members of our community to experiment with art and that creates a healthy outlet for our community’s youth.”
Although the night events are geared toward the 21 and over crowd, the nights and lounges typically see a wide-range of attendees, from young children through senior citizens. The museum will hold another Night@tritonmuseum on Thursday, Sept. 3 from 6 to 10 p.m. and a community Halloween event on Thursday, Oct. 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. Visit http://tritonmuseum.org/Events.php for more information.