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SFMOMA Announces New Thursday Night Happenings
My Barbarian, The Voyage of the White Widow, 2007; © My Barbarian; photo: courtesy the artist.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) marks 75 years as a pioneering force in art with exhibitions and events, including a series of three Thursday evening happenings that offer a sophisticated social experience for late-night guests. Launching on March 18, 2010, SFMOMA: Now Playing invites artists to animate the museum in unexpected ways—and audiences to come play and see the museum in a new light. Guests can roam the galleries, take in live performances and talks, and unwind with cocktails and food while experiencing the atrium as a projection chamber, a hidden annex as a lounge, and artists playing the architecture.

Now Playing is spearheaded by the museum's education department and curated by Frank Smigiel, SFMOMA associate curator of public programs. "These events explore the museum as a social platform where artists and audiences together can reinvent its environment and create art experiences in real time, shared space, and a spirit of play," says Smigiel. "It's really about engaging with the museum itself as a total work of art. It's also a party, and like any party, you really have to be there."

Kicking off with headline performances by the Los Angeles-based art band My Barbarian on March 18, local sound artist Laetitia Sonami and video artist SUE-C on April 15, and a collaborative multimedia project from artist Chris Johanson and THE THING Quarterly (by artists Jonn Herschend and Will Rogan) on June 17, Now Playing continues SFMOMA's dedication to the increasingly event-driven, performance-based nature of contemporary art with experimental projects designed to catalyze the museum as a vital social space and provoke new art experiences for visitors as much as the contemplation of art objects.

The evenings are free with museum admission and include live entertainment, drop-in film screenings in the museum's Wattis Theater, and curator-led talks. Now Playing also features access to all galleries, complimentary bites from leading San Francisco restaurants, and cocktails from multiple cash bars. Artisanal menus from Blue Bottle Coffee Co. and Meat Paper magazine, designed specifically for these events, will also be for sale in the Rooftop Garden. More information is available at

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art | Frank Smigiel | Thursday Night Happenings |

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