We locals know there’s a whole lot more to Pasadena than parades and princesses—there’s culture, and learning, and beauty, and food… and ArtNight. Held on a fall Friday night, ArtNight is a robust celebration of the arts that is attended by everyone and his mother: schoolkids, seniors, yuppies, preppies, Caltech scientists, preschool teachers, employed poets, unemployed investment bankers and everyone else in town. And now it has expanded into an entire art weekend extraordinaire, encompassing ArtHeritage (a Saturday festival of Latino culture), ArtRhythm (a Saturday evening event at the Paseo featuring live music, a drum circle and a photography exhibit), ArtPerformance (a cultural dance festival in Old Pasadena); ArtWalk (more on that below); and the Art of Food, a food-and-wine-tasting shindig on South Lake.
But back to ArtNight, which started it all. Pretty much all of Pasadena’s museums and cultural venues—the Norton Simon, the Armory, PMCA, Kidspace, Art Center, the Pacific Asia, Lineage Dance, even the Alliance Française—open their doors for free, often throwing in special exhibits and/or activities. Free shuttles connect the venues, or you can tour via bike. Many restaurants offer ArtNight deals, and there’s a general air of festivity all over town.
ArtNight’s success led to the launching of the next-day Pasadena ArtWalk, which celebrates its fifth anniversary this weekend with a free day of art centered in the Playhouse District neighborhood. This year’s lineup is most impressive, including lectures and panel discussions (on such subjects as Fine Art and Cinema and Exhibits of Modern Art in Pasadena) at the Carrie Hamilton Theatre, a juried art show and sale; a jazz concert; a preview of an upcoming play at the Pasadena Playhouse; free admission to the Pacific Asia Museum and the Pasadena Museum of California Art; readings of “Wicked Literature” at Vroman’s; hands-on art-making workshops for adults and kids; and a gallery walk through the neighborhood. And yes, it’s all free.
ArtNight Fall 2010
Friday, October 8, 6 – 10 p.m.
Throughout Pasadena; free
Saturday, October 9, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.