Getting Picked Up at the Chelsea Art Museum

The Chelsea Art Museum has a decade long history of thinking outside of the box -- not to mention a reputation for some of the most raucous museums parties in New York City. Thanks to the young minds behind CAM's major events, the historic building brings more than just emerging artists to the arts forefront.

"The core philosophy of the Young Associates is to have these smaller events where people can talk about art in a chill way over a glass of wine and some cheese with the primary sources -- say, the artist or gallerist," said Shannon Gulliver, Chair of the Young Associates.

Over the last decade, membership has grown from 10 to several hundred, forcing the young board members to try the curator hat on for size.

"These [larger] parties have gotten so big that it's not safe anymore to have a thousand people in the museum, spilling their wine on the walls. ...  It's a challenge because none of us are really in the arts world," said Gulliver, a doctor with a masters degree in art history.

"We have an elementary school principal, an economist, and a PR person. ... None of us are event planners either so we've kind of just figured out how to do these parties on our own."

From projection and performance artists to graffiti writers scattered amongst the crowd at last night's Winter Wickedness soiree, the events stick with the museum's commitment to engage people who wouldn't normally be involved in art in a non-intimidating way.

"There's some people who only come to the parties, and some who come to every single little event. There's definitely a lot of flux. It's social, and I think it's also become somewhat of a pick-up scene." 

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