IMG 6108Art on the Rocks hosts various local artists, makers, and businesses that set up booths for patrons to visit while at the event. Photo by Baili BighamBaili Grace Bigham - Head Entertainment Columnist

The Birmingham Museum of Art kicked off its first Art on the Rocks event of the summer on June 17. With a successful turn out, the event entertained thousands of local Birmingham art lovers and gave them a chance to see the museum in a different light. This three-part event series has happened annually for the past 12 years, but why should you attend this summer? Read on and decide for yourself.

As a newcomer to Art on the Rocks, I quickly realized that this is not your average night at the art museum. Sure, there are gallery talks and tours, but there is so much more to experience. Come with an open mind and an empty stomach. You’ll find live music wafting through the night air outside in the plaza, drinks galore, more finger food than you can fit on your plate and art around every corner.

A plethora of activities were available to choose from on the first night of Art on the Rocks’s 12th season, a theme to continue for the next two nights of the event series. These included, but weren’t limited to: bedazzling stations to allow your inner artist to shine (literally) on your purse or clothing, henna tattoos by local Anna Laura Hopper that had a line of people wrapped around the station looking for a touch of India to complement the museum’s collection of Asian art, a signature Art on the Rocks photo booth to commemorate the night, a gallery talk on a showing of silk robes and, of course — the after party, featuring music by Love Moore and Amasa Hines, a seven-piece band with influences from Afro-beat, soul and psychedelic music.

Prizes were given away at the end of the night. Bromberg’s, a partner of the event series, threw in some friendly competition, giving attendees a chance to win a $1500 Tag Heuer Aquaracer watch. The more activities you visited and the more shares you posted on social media, the higher your chances of winning would be. If having a good time wasn’t incentive enough to get involved with what the event had to offer, the chance to win a prize sure was.

Things to look forward to on July 22’s part two of Art On the Rocks include a performance by The Lonely Biscuits, an alternative rock band that has played at popular music festivals such as Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and Hangout Fest. In addition, they’ll be activities and goodies provided by artists, makers and businesses from downtown Birmingham.

General entry costs $25 but museum members get in for $15. For those interested, the upcoming Art on the Rocks nights shouldn’t be far too different from the first. Pulling together everything Birmingham holds near and dear — good food, good drinks, good music and good art — this summer series is a way to experience local culture all in one place, all in one night (or three!)
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