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I finally got out to an ArtafterDark at the Honolulu Museum of Arts this past month.  I’ll tell you this, it isn’t a venue that I had seen myself visiting.  (I just didn’t think that Art was my cup of tea, type of thing.)  But, I’m glad I went and I’ll probably go again.

ArtafterDark has a different feel than what I’m used to doing and it’s kind of refreshing.  It isn’t a stuffy art exhibition nor is it a “shh…Be quiet. You’re in museum. Gosh!” type of thing.  Actually, when you first walk in you’ll see a throng of people that are just socializing and having a couple of cocktails.  You can mingle or walk through the art exhibits at your will.

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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.

The max capacity is around 2,000 people and you definitely should get there early so that you don’t risk getting shut-out due to max capacity being reached.  And it does reach max capacity!  Just like a night club…you’ll only be allowed 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.

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A Little Bit About the Honolulu Museum of Art

The Honolulu Museum of Art is the child of the Honolulu Academy of Arts which created and founded in 1927 by Anna Rice Cooke.  Ms. Cook was born in 1853 into a prominent missionary family on Oahu.  She married into another prominent missionary family when she we Charles Montague Cook.  In 1882 they build a home on Beretania Street, the future site of the Museum.

The couple began to gather and collect art until they had a rather nice collection.  When that art collection became so big that the home couldn’t handle it, she decided to create Hawaii’s first visual art museum.  In 1920 she began to catalog and research her collection and the family donated their property on Beretania Street for the museum and the family home was torn down to make room.

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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.

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The Parking Issue at Art after Dark in Honolulu

Parking is usually horrible in Honolulu at this time of night and pretty much all the tim.

  • Parking is FREE if available on Beretania and Kinau Streets from 6 PM and later in the evening.
  • You can park at the lot behind the Honolulu Museum of Art School (1111 Victoria St.) or entrances on Beretania and Young Streets for $5 for 5 hours. There’s a $2 fee for each additional 30 minutes or fraction thereof. The lot closes promptly at 11 p.m.
  • You can park at the lot at the First United Methodist Church, located on the corner of Beretania and Victoria Streets for $5.  This lot closes promptly at 10 p.m.

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