Students get in touch with the art scene at Dartmouth in Hood After 5 event

Put on termly by the Museum Club, the event featured live music, gallery chats and art activities.

by Armita Mirkarimi | 2/22/22 2:05am

Source: Lars Blackmore

Hood After 5, an event marketed as “for students, by students,” took place Friday, Feb. 18 in the Hood Museum of Art. Museum Club members spotlighted works from the “This Land: American Engagement with the Natural World” exhibition, set up art-making activity stations and provided live entertainment for student attendees. 

Campus engagement intern Alice Crow ’22 coordinated the event with members of the Museum Club.

“The Hood is a professional place, but events like Hood After 5 make it more accessible to everyday students,” Crow said.

The Barbaloot Suits played live jazz as students made buttons from pictures of Hood pieces featured in the Hood Museum of Art Quarterly.

After hearing about the event from previous terms, Jimena Perez ’23 said she spontaneously attended Hood After 5. 

“I was working in the Hop and looking for a study break when I heard the music, and decided to come check it out,” Perez said. “Now, I’m making buttons with Barbara Streisand’s portraits from the golden age of cinema gallery.”

Ellie McLaughlin ’25, a member of Museum Club, helped plan the event and volunteered checking people in.

McLaughlin noted that not only has she learned more about art and found a community, but she has enjoyed encouraging other students to become more involved with the Hood. 

Museum Club also highlighted pieces from the Slack Gallery, reproducing them on reference sheets available in the Hood’s atrium in order to inspire origami creations. Attendees made origami flowers, butterflies and frogs based on features of artworks in the gallery. 

Reyna Santoyo ’23 said that she comes to the Hood often but never interacted with the pieces in the Slack Gallery intimately until the Hood After 5. 

“I love Isabella Kirkland’s ‘Gone’ piece,” Santoyo said. “I look at the [print] every time I come to the gallery, but I’ve never made origami-inspired before. Now, I love the piece even more.” 

Hood After 5 integrated the “This Land: American Engagement with the Natural World” exhibition with a separate activity station where students answered the prompt, “What land holds special meaning for you?” through drawings and sketches. 

Shefali Gladson ’16 MPH’22 created a collage to answer the prompt. 

“It’s been nice to reflect and make some art with friends around,” Gladson said. “It’s been so cold out and the vibes are chill and cozy here. I’m not really into art, but it’s good to take a break and make a collage and reflect on what different places mean to me.” 

Hood campus engagement coordinator and Museum Club advisor Isadora Italia said she tries to provide a space for students to take a break from their busy lives and use art to relax. 

“We always try to have the social component of doing hands-on activities,” Italia said. “We found that having music and then the gallery component creates a comfortable atmosphere for students.” 

When the museum reopened in 2019, after a three year renovation and expansion, Museum Club helped host a student-oriented opening party that brought in more than 1,000 students, according to Italia. That success is what continues to inspire the Hood After 5 events, she said.

Museum Club members also offered gallery chats in which they explained the history, context and overall message of seven works spread throughout the Museum. 

Anastasia Bryan ’24, who attended the event, was intent on learning more about a piece by Faith Ringgold called “United States of Attica.”

“It’s always more fun to have kids your age explain art to you,” Bryan said. “It’s just easier to understand and I feel like I learn more.”

Crow added that having student-led gallery talks makes interacting with art less intimidating.

“They’re not necessarily vetted art history majors or anything like that,” Crow said. “They’re just people that work hard in what they’re interested in.”

Italia also noted that lowering the stakes of visiting the museum encourages more meaningful interaction between students and the art.

“You don’t have to stay there for five hours and become an expert on it,” Italia said. “You don’t even have to come to the event for the full two hours. You can walk in, spend five minutes and just have an experience in the galleries.”