#89. Hang out at a Final Friday Reception at the U.Va. Art Museum

Collection of photos in an exhibit at the A-School

Collection of photos in an exhibit at the A-School

Museums and fun are not normally two words we put together in a sentence.  After crossing #89 off your bucket list, though, you won’t hesitate to admit you had an awesome time at U.Va.’s Fralin Art Museum on a Final Friday.

Final Friday Receptions at the Art Museum are like casual cocktail parties held at the museum every final Friday of the month (hence the name) from 5:30-7:30PM.  Relaxing music, chilled IPAs and wine, fabulous hors d’oeuvres, and unique art exhibits of well-known artists’ work, as well as the work of U.Va. students, all come together to prove that even the ultimate museum-hater can have an awesome time.  What’s even more awesome: the whole thing – “adult beverages” and all – is completely free to students!

Student painting

Student painting

On Friday, February 22nd, a group of friends and I headed over to the Art Museum to kick off our Friday night on the right foot.  This was only my second Final Friday, but already, I knew the drill.  Here are few key insights to help you make your Final Friday experience one you’ll want to pencil in to your monthly routine:

Outside view of the A-School

Outside view of the A-School

1) Go to the smaller receptions!  Final Friday is NOT just at the Art Museum.  The Final Fridays Receptions are “headquartered,” if you will, at the Art Museum, but smaller receptions also take place in the Ruffin Gallery and the main building of the Architecture School (both of which are behind the Art Museum).  At the Art Museum, you can only get one drink ticket, whereas at Ruffin and the A-School buildings, drinks are unlimited (just remember to bring your ID!).  Not that the drinks are what it’s about, but hey, you can’t beat a free glass (or three) of wine!  The smaller receptions also have more student art, where you might discover the hidden talents of some of your peers.

A selection of alcoholic beverages are available for free at each reception!

A selection of alcoholic beverages are available for free at each reception!

A-School smaller reception

A-School smaller reception

2) Save room for the brie and 7-layer dip.  I wish I was kidding, but you will thank me later.  The brie, smothered in jam and fruit, is unreal.  And the 7-layer dip – to die for.  Free drinks are great, but free drinks and potentially a free dinner (depending on how much you eat) is a perfect 10 in my book.

The ultimate 7-layer dip.  Get some while it lasts!

The ultimate 7-layer dip. Get some while it lasts!

Brie, jam, and fruit - delicious!

Brie, jam, and fruit – delicious!

3) Bring friends!  While you look at a lot of art, the Final Fridays Receptions are really social events that are much more enjoyable when you go with a good crew.

Friends enjoying drinks, art, and good company!

Friends enjoying drinks, art, and good company!

4) Explore.  The Art Museum is a really awesome part of U.Va. – one that often goes without being noticed by students outside of the A-School or a fine arts program.  In a lot of our other majors, we might not get the chance to explore the artsier side of Grounds, which is actually, in my own opinion, the coolest nook of U.Va.  Take the time to get in touch with your inner art lover and feel free to wander around!

Student photograph

Student photograph

Paper hand replicas, made by students and on display in the A-School

Paper hand replicas, made by students and on display in the A-School

Final Fridays are one of the most underrated events on Grounds.  Art + food + drinks + friends + music + the fact that the entire experience is 100% free = an awesome Final Friday that will make you want it to be anything but final.

Check out the Fralin Art Museum’s website for more information about the specific exhibits and be sure to mark the next Final Fridays on your calendar: March 29 and April 26.

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