Encouraging local arts, one Thursday at a time

Museum London will be feeling a little bluer this Thursday with award-winning blues rock band Saigon Pharmacy playing the first in a series of events that the Museum hopes to host.

Starting tomorrow, the museum will be beginning their Third Thursday events that seek to combine a variety of artistic influences and mediums to create a new kind of cultural experience.

“This event was just to find a new way to engage people about the Museum and this seemed like a sure bet to create an event that’s regular that people can count on to have a good time,” Matthew Thomas, marketing coordinator for Museum London, comments. “On the Third Thursday of every month, young people can enjoy the museum in a different way from their experience other times throughout the month.”

This month, Museum London has teamed up with Bluesfest, an organisation that brings in both big name and new bands to the city and regularly hosts annual concerts during the summer.

“In summer of 2012, Museum London’s co-op department contacted me about doing some kind of artwork transfusion between Bluesfest and museum London,” Chris Gould, director of Bluesfest London, recalls.

The first Third Thursday will also feature artwork by Gina Duque, who participated in a joint artistic effort with Bluesfest.

“With one of the local artists here in London, Gina Duque, we came up with the idea of doing a rhythmic canvas. She came in and painted a five foot by five foot canvas that describes the flow of the music that was being portrayed live on our Bluesfest stage,” Gould adds.

Third Thursday will not only include live music and visual artwork. Thomas highlights many of the other things planned for the evening, including a silent auction and door prizes. Museum London also hopes to see greater participation of students in the London arts community through these inexpensive and interactive events.

“Third Thursday is really for students. The museum is for everyone but we really want to find ways to attract the students in, and this is our way of doing that. Students can look out into the future, for music that they wouldn’t be able to hear in many other venues. They can come for art, for a tour or an interactive experience and they can do it for five dollars,” Thomas says.

For Gould, the event provides more opportunity to raise awareness of the arts community in London.

“We are trying to raise awareness of art and artist in the local region because we all know as budget cuts come out, typically the arts is the first thing to get axed. As anybody knows, if you take away the arts, it would be a pretty sorry society we would be living in. So we are trying to raise some awareness to the general public and the great citizens of the fabulous city and let them know that we want the arts in our lives,” Gould comments.

Thomas hopes to continue to host events that bring live music, gallery tours, pop-up tours and interactive art-making at the museum every Third Thursday of the month teasing an indie-rock focus for February.

“We are always trying to find new ways to activate what we have to offer. Whether it’s through music or films, blues music is just something that people love. We thought about just putting some music up, inviting people in, and seeing what the Museum has,” Thomas concludes.