Columbia Museum of Art’s renovations make room for bigger, better Arts & Draughts

Karamie Sullivan photos.

It was a night of art, beer, and fun.

The Columbia Museum of Art brought back their seasonal Arts & Draughts Friday night after a seven month hiatus due to renovations. The crowd was packed in the downstairs lobby as people walked in through the new Main Street entrance.

Museum public and media relations specialist Milena Engh described the event as an “artsy block party” for everyone to enjoy. “Normally museums have this perception of being so stuffy,” she said. “And Arts & Draughts is such a nice way to have some fun with your friends at the museum.”

Beer tastings were provided by Columbia Craft Brewing Company, and additional sour beers were provided by The Whig on the second floor. Food vendors from Village Idiot Pizza, Smokey Loggins, Mimie’s Delect-A-Bowls, and Curiosity Coffee Bar offered a wide variety of quick bites. Live music was performed by H3RO, NUMBTONGUE, and Stagbriar.

There were two special guests on hand to provide perspective tours through a few of the galleries. Local drag queens Ebony Wood and Elena DeVour entertained the crowd with educational facts about the artwork, combined with witty humor.

Engh said it was amazing to see such a great turnout for the event. “You know we’ve been so entrenched in this renovation, and for a lot of people it’s the first time they’ve come into the museum since we’ve transformed,” she said. “So we were just really pumped about this one to be able to show off these new spaces.” Final numbers have not yet been tallied, but Engh said the pre-sale ticket numbers were twice as high as they’ve been in the past.

In addition to the expansion and new entrance in the lobby, there were also renovated galleries, and a new 5,500 sq.-ft. space upstairs that were completed earlier last year.

The next Arts & Draughts will be held March 22.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Business, Columbia, Richland County