Lights off, future on: Speed Art Museum celebrates upcoming renovations

By on September 25, 2012

By Aimee Jewell–

Hustle and bustle around the grounds of the Speed Art Museum is a surprise to no one. Patrons and visitors often flow in the Museum doors for functions, however, this past weekend was a party unlike any other. With renovations spanning over the next three years, the Speed is closing their doors to the public. But not before they throw one last hoorah. Between a Groundbreaking Ceremony on Friday, the Family Fun Day, 100/100 Event and Art After Dark: Lights off on Saturday, and the Final Viewing Day on Sunday, the museum staff had their hands full and museum patrons had their weekends booked.

Targeted at 20 and 30-somethings, Art After Dark: Lights Off took place from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday evening into Sunday morning. With a $5 student fee for University of Louisville students, the event was an affordable weekend option with many diverse activities to offer visitors. The legendary DJ Scratch, along with DJ Nathan Salsburg, provided a soundtrack for the evening, while bowling, glow-in-the-dark face painting, a museum-wide scavenger hunt, t-shirt deconstruction and numerous other activities took place throughout the museum.

Lisa Resnik, Chief Operating Officer of the Speed Art Museum, and Kristen Popp, the Speed’s Manager of Media and Public Information, sat down on Thursday to discuss their excitement about the event. “All night long we have different music happening, different events, [and] lot of transitions going on,” she said. “It’s all kind of signifying the new Speed and our transition from what it is now to what it will be,” Popp added.

Outside, video instillation produced by Jonathan Klingenfus, Andrew Vititoe, Tim Furnish and Ryan Daly, took place during the evening’s events. The front of the museum came alive Saturday night with abstract images, distorted silhouettes, and trippy color patterns, while the spinning records played in the background. Inside the museum, participating in a warmer option, guests drew on walls with paint markers, colored on chalkboards, and left their own mark on Speed walls before the museum closes down for the next three years.

Food trucks, Quills coffee, a cash-bar, and celebratory cake helped ensure that event-goers stomachs were full as they participated in the events going on throughout the evening. Many joined in deconstructing t-shirts, taking the shirts donated by Café Press, and putting their own personal flair on them. Carissa Christian painted patrons’ faces while others danced the night away on the neon-lit dance floor.

The event may be over, and the museum closed now, but the Speed Art Museum will not stop influencing the Louisville art community. The Speed has already organized a “Speed About Town” program, and plans on displaying their pieces on the museum’s website, showcasing pieces throughout the Louisville area, and has already put together a 2012-2013 concert series. “We’re very excited for what’s to come,” said Popp.

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Photos: Val Serdino/The Louisville Cardinal

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