Students Step Out for an Elegant Night at the Museum


Video by Ali Ragan ’16, Story by Kiyomi Mino ’16

Nearly 500 students — almost one-third of the student body — gathered at the Bowdoin Museum of Night on Friday evening for the semiannual Student Night at the Art Museum.

Spearheaded by the Student Activities office, with help from the Student Museum Advocacy Council (SMAC) and Residential Life, the event offered students a chance to step out for a fairly sophisticated evening in the vicinity of great art.

“Bowdoin students are so busy with their academic and extracurricular involvements, they get into a habitual trail around campus,” Allen Delong, director of student activities, said. “Unfortunately, the art museum tends to not to be in this habitual trail for students to enjoy. This event gives the art museum the opportunity to say, come on in!”

The museum’s current exhibitions include Maurice Prendergast: By the Sea and Breakthrough: Work by Contemporary Chinese Women Artists. In addition to the diversity in art, students also were treated to a photo shoot organized by SMAC. SMAC is a student club that serves as a liaison between students and the art museum and aims to get students more involved with both the appreciation of art in the greater community and on campus at the art museum.

Inspired by the Prendergast exhibition, the SMAC photo shoot had 19th century costumes and accessories for students to wear, emulating the beach goers that Prendergast often depicted in his work. “The museum is small, but it has incredible collections, especially in print. I think photo shoots like this are fun and make art less elitist,” said Dana Hopkins ’14, one of the four co-leaders of SMAC.

This year’s first Student Night at the Museum was much more student driven than previous student museum nights. Instead of the usual one musical act, the Longfellows a cappella group and student performers from the Bowdoin Music Collective performed in the museum’s rotunda throughout the evening. One student group even included ukulele, accordion and musical saw players.

Frank Goodyear, the new co-director of the Museum of Art, said he believes the night was a big success due to the collaboration of the organizers. He added that he hopes the museum will continue to be “a laboratory of creativity” for students to try out new ideas. “This is your museum. We want students to be involved in all aspects of the program whether as docents, assistants to the curators or even coming to a good party once in a while,” he said.

Photos by Dennis Griggs

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