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pARTy After Hours: Swing into the ’40s

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Christina Stock Photo Next to exploring art at the Roswell Museum and Art Center, last year's pARTy After Hours was a full success attracting artists from the theater community as well as Roswell Artist-in-Residence members, local business owners, teachers and curious visitors.

By Christina Stock

Vision Editor

The public is invited to spend the evening at the Roswell Museum and Art Center, 1011 N. Richardson Ave., for its pARTy After Hours on Aug. 23 from 6 to 9 p.m. The event is supported by the RMAC Foundation and is a series of free events for adults that aims to expand access to the museum and present art and sciences as an integral part of people’s lives.

This pARTy’s theme is, “Swing into the 40s” in celebration of the opening of the new “Decades” exhibition at RMAC.

The guests get an exclusive evening access — free of charge — to the museum and a mix of 1940s-inspired activities at this after-hours event for ages 21 and older.

A free 30-minute swing dance class with instructor Ada Palacios takes place ahead of the evening at 5:30 p.m. Then it’s time to jump and jive as Roswell’s DJ Five Star plays big band music all evening.

Dancers can take a break and create a felt flower corsage or boutonniere, enjoy a gallery talk about the Decades exhibition and get their photo taken in a 1940s-era photo booth.

The new Decades: 1930s and 1940s exhibition officially opens Aug. 24 and will be up until Feb. 9. It is the first part of a series, which continues with Decades: 1950s, opening in Feb. 2020 and Decades: 1960s, opening August 2020. Every six months, RMAC will move forward 10 years to see what has changed in American culture.

The art that is produced in any given era gives later audiences a small glimpse of what it was like to live in that time period. That is the idea behind the Decades series of exhibitions that will be featured at RMAC over the next four years. The exhibit begins with the 1930s and 1940s, partly because the RMAC was founded in 1937, and partly because of its rich holdings from these decades.

The 1930s are best understood as the decade of the Great Depression, so some of the artworks in this show reflect concerns about work and daily life. Others display an exciting modernity of form and line that was pretty new at the time, drawing from Cubist and Art Deco styles. The 1940s were dominated by the events of World War II and the burgeoning Cold War, and some of that fear and bravery will be on view, but also visible will be the beginnings of Abstract Expressionism and what we call today Modern Art.

To enhance the visitor’s immersion in the 1930s and 1940s, RMAC intends to have era-appropriate music playing quietly in the Paul Horgan Gallery while the exhibit is up. It’ll be sure to get visitors “in the mood.”

RMAC’s pARTy After Hours will also feature a cash bar by Pecos Flavors Winery, and new to this event, Carlsbad’s Fireman’s Pit Bar-B-Que will be on site selling dinner options.

The evening ends with drawings for prizes provided by local businesses.

Limited space is available in the Kids’ Zone for children ages 2 to 12, designed to free up parents while they enjoy the event. Pre-registration is required and there is a fee per child. For more information on the Kids’ Zone, call Tiffany at 575-500-0363.

For more information on the exhibit and other events, visit roswellmuseum.org or call 575-624-6744.