LACMA College Night hosts college students for free


The Samurai Japanese Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection is featured in the LACMA Resnick Pavillion with over 140 objects of warrior regalia. (Cladellain Kae David / Photo Editor) Photo credit: Cladellain David

James Canares

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art held it’s annual College Night Thursday.

College students from nearby LA schools came together on this night to enjoy various exhibits, performances and galleries for free.

“College night at LACMA is really important,” said Amber Smith, the Public Programs Coordinator. “It allows student to connect with the artwork on view in multiple different ways.”

One of the main exhibits was “Samurai: Japanese Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection.” This section showed off various pieces of samurai armor, artifacts, weapons and attire. All throughout the exhibit were descriptions on the walls that go into immense detail about the contents of the armor, and walking passed displays of fierce and menacing pieces of armor and masks is sure to inspire awe.

The next exhibit was dedicated to contemporary artist Pierre Huyghe. Students walked through a maze of bizarre, and sometimes, graphic displays of paintings, films, sculptures and various projects from the mind of the French artist.

Lightning Shadow performs a dramatic “Snowflake” dance at the LACMA BP Grand Entrance that expressively symbolizing life/death and sometimes stumbled into the audience. (Cladellain Kae David / Photo Editor)

Perhaps the most notable section in Huyghe’s exhibit was the piece called “Atari Light.” The entire ceiling was a grid of lights, lit up in the form of a game of Pong, and two people control each side with joysticks that hang from the ceiling on each side.

In the next exhibit, Nature and the American Vision: The Hudson River School, students can examine 19th century American landscape paintings. The inspiration behind these paintings, as said in the Hudson River School biography, is that each painting demonstrates the power of landscape imagery as a device that conveys ideas about culture and nature.

The final College Night attraction was a dance piece by the troupe, Lightning Shadow. The piece, called “Snowflake” showcased dancers Oguri and Roxanne Steinberg performing a contemporary style of dance known as Butoh. The performance started out with Oguri, walking out in a black kimono, as the crowd split up to watch him perform. Steinberg hobbled out shortly after, dressed in white. Both of them danced in the middle of the crowd, before slowly making their way towards the Urban Light installation, and ending it on the sidewalk.

“We somehow come into this space,” Steinberg said. “From point A to wherever point B is, you don’t know what might happen. You might become perfection, or you might melt.”

Butoh is a contemporary theater form of dance from post-WWII Japan. It’s a form that is more dependent on playful or grotesque imagery and slow motions. The emotion displayed from Butoh can range from peaceful to violent, slow to ecstatic, and remains one of the most mysterious forms of dance.

Student attendees of the LACMA College Night participate in the samurai-inspired Printmaking Workshop at the BP Grand Entrance. (Cladellain Kae David / Photo Editor)
Student attendees of the LACMA College Night participate in the samurai-inspired Printmaking Workshop at the BP Grand Entrance. (Cladellain Kae David / Photo Editor)

“It was a tremendous audience,” Steinberg said. “The focus and the attention was astounding. And they were so open and receptive, it gave me a lot of energy.”

College Night at LACMA is a great way to spend time with fellow college students, looking at inspiring and thought-provoking pieces of art, as well as creating some with art-making workshops.

“There are different exhibitions on view,” Smith said. “It’s allowing students to have multiple entry points into looking at artwork and making that connection, and that’s what’s really important. It’s really art focused here.”