Live art at the Honolulu Museum of Art — Photo courtesy of Honolulu Museum of Art
ARTafterDARK is the Honolulu Museum of Art's monthly art party, organized by a dynamic group of young volunteers dedicated to exploring the arts. It's a night that weaves together art, culture, nightlife and socializing.
Fun and exciting ARTafterDARK events are held January through October on the last Friday of the month from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Honolulu Museum of Art. An eclectic mix of artists and those involved in the Honolulu social scene come together to celebrate the arts.
The nights are always themed, bringing a new feel and different sorts of fun to each event. Themes like Allure, I Love Photo and the Persian New Year are just some of the unique sources of inspiration for those that throw the event.
With a maximum capacity of 2,000, this after-dark soiree is more of a production than one may perceive at first thought. They highly recommend to get to the venue early, because they hit max capacity each time. Additional guests are only let in as others leave.
Admission is only $10, and guests have access to a full bar that offers an array of cocktails and beer. Live music varies between functions but is always there.
The Honolulu Museum of Art is descendant of the Honolulu Academy of Arts, founded in 1927 by Anna Rice Cooke, a woman born into a prominent missionary family on Oahu in 1853. Growing up in a home that appreciated the arts, she went on to marry Charles Montague Cooke, also of a prominent missionary family, and the two settled in Honolulu. In 1882, they built a home on Beretania Street, on the site that would become home to the museum.
Dancers at the Allure-themed night of ARTafterDARK — Photo courtesy of Honolulu Museum of Art
As the years went by, the couple began to put together an art collection. When the collection outgrew their home, Anna Rice Cooke decided to create Hawai‘i’s first visual arts museum. In 1920, she and her daughters began to catalog and research the collection as a first step. The Cookes donated their Beretania Street land for the museum, and the family home was torn down to make way for the new institution.
Since it opened, the Honolulu Museum of Art has grown steadily - both in presence and in its collection - to become one of the finest museums in the United States. Additions to the original building include a library (1956), an education wing (1960), a gift shop (1965), a cafe (1969), a contemporary gallery, administrative offices and 280-seat theater (1977) and an art center for studio classes and expanded educational programming (1989).
The museum’s permanent collection has grown from 500 works to more than 50,000 pieces spanning 5,000 years, with significant holdings in Asian art, American and European painting and decorative arts, 19th- and 20th-century art, an extensive collection of works on paper, Asian textiles and traditional works from Africa, Oceania and the Americas.
Remember that Honolulu is notorious for less than ideal parking. Here's some advice on where to park when you visit the museum:
1) Free - Street parking is available on Beretania and Kinau Streets from 6 p.m. on.
2) $5 - You can park at the lot behind the Honolulu Museum of Art School (1111 Victoria St.) or entrances on Beretania and Young Streets. Note: You can park here up to five hours. There's a $2 fee for each additional 30 minutes or fraction thereof. The lot closes promptly at 11 p.m.
3) $5 - You can park at the lot at the First United Methodist Church, located on the corner of Beretania and Victoria Streets. Note: This lot closes promptly at 10 p.m.