As someone still new to the Charlotte scene, I’m always searching for fun and affordable events to attend within the city. One of my favorite places to find information that fits within those parameters is the Charlotte on the Cheap list that Jody Mace compiles. One of the events that she recently listed is Bechtler by Night.
The Bechtler museum is in Uptown Charlotte and open Monday through Sunday. I’ve had plans to make it out there before, but something always comes up, and I find the hours are just not workable for me. I’m obviously not alone, as the Bechtler by Night event exists for those like me who can’t seem to make it to the museum during the regular business hours.
Once a month, on the third Friday of the month, the Bechtler museum opens from 5 pm until 9 pm for a night of art appreciation wrapped in fun activities and prizes. The event makes for a wonderful date or outing with family and friends.
Unsure of what to expect when we arrived, my friend and I found a bustling museum entry filled with people in line to receive their bingo cards and sheets for a scavenger hunt. If you are one of the first 100 people to return the completed scavenger hunt and bingo card, you will be offered the chance to draw from a raffle box and win a prize!
As you walk through the museum hunting for the answers to the questions on the scavenger hunt page, you find yourself reading the descriptions for the art and looking at the art in an entirely new way than you have before. As a lover of museums, I’ve frequented my fair share, but this event encourages us to take the time to really read about the artists and the works rather than just scan the room and do a quick glance at each piece as we pass them by without a notice of much else.
The current exhibitions feature Sam Francis: Rapid Fluid Indivisible Vision (on view until March 7, 2016) and The Art of the Print (on view until June 19 2016). This was my first introduction to Francis, an Abstract Expressionist artist, and I found myself enamored with his techniques and works.
On the back of the scavenger hunt sheet, you are asked to draw a quick sketch of your favorite work of art in the museum. I chose a self portrait of Sam Francis. The obscure sadness just called to me.
I applaud the museum for creating an event that invites patrons to engage with the art in a new way. The modest size of the collections at the museum are ideal for this type of event. The museum is not expansive like The Smithsonian, and this helps prevent the patrons from feeling overwhelmed by the game. My friend and I were two of the lucky ones to finish the scavenger hunt before all the prizes were awarded, and we won two passes to the museum! Other prizes included items from the museum gift shop and tickets to jazz performances at the museum.
I thoroughly enjoyed my night at the Bechtler museum, and I can’t wait to return for future nights of Friday fun at the museum.
More information about Sam Francis at the Sam Francis Foundation.
Here are the future 2016 dates for the event:
Parking: Don’t fret – if you park at the Levine Center for the Arts Parking Garage, you will pay $5.00 and the museum is just a scant walk across the road. More information about parking can be found on the Duke Energy Center page.
Food and drink: Check out a menu and times for The Modern Cafe at the Bechtler
Normal Museum Hours and Admission:
Blue Balls art print by Sam Francis: