Art is everywhere — even in a small fridge of fresh fruit juices. Those wondering about the connection should check out Thursday's Art After Dark at the Bakersfield Museum of Art.
Museum curator Rachel Magnus said she was excited to partner again with Moo Creamery, which has helped the museum kick off each season of the popular evening gatherings combining cocktails, art and entertainment.
For Thursday's event, Moo created vibrant libations in the spirit of artist Astrid Preston, whose exhibit “Poetics of Nature” is on display at the museum.
"This event especially seemed to be a perfect match!," Magnus wrote in an email. "I love going into Moo and am always in awe of the small refrigerator that houses the Thrive line of cold-pressed juices. Their incredibly vivid colors and exciting flavor combinations, made with fruits, vegetables and aromatic spices directly parallel Astrid Preston’s colorful depictions of nature."
Color was the initial focus for concocting the cocktails, designed by Moo owner Jessica Pounds.
Magnus said color plays a significant role in Preston's work and her exhibition highlights "her ability to capture combinations of color and texture that only nature can create."
Pounds, who Magnus describes as an artist in her own right, took inspiration from the exhibition as an opportunity to creatively highlight both the juices and the mixology. (The restaurant has a pending full liquor license and will be able to offer a sophisticated cocktail menu down the road.)
"Each cocktail is a saturated color that is widely represented in the work of Preston," Magnus said.
The drink names also each reflect a painting in the space: Late Bloom, a cucumber–ginger mojito, with Tito’s vodka and Moo's cold-pressed juice of lime, mint, cucumber, ginger, apple and pineapple, which is topped with soda water; Cadmium Sky, a blood orange-jalapeno margarita with jalapeno-infused Herradura Ultra, fresh lime, lemon and orange juice and a candied jalapeno garnish; and Golden Reflection, featuring buffalo trace bourbon, pineapple, apple and ginger juice, local honey and candied ginger garnish.
The cocktails will be available for $8 each. For those looking for something simpler, Moo will also serve Alesmith Sublime Mexican Lager ($4).
But the pairings don't stop with the cocktails. The museum will offer an art project inspired by Preston's use of pixilation and texture in her work. House of Flowers will bring in flowers, leaves and other natural elements that guests can use to create their own pixilated sketches of nature.
Magnus said artists of any level should feel comfortable trying their hand at the work.
"For the novice, there is no need to be intimidated by the daunting nature of a sketch," she said. "We are supplying vellum graph paper and one can simply be inspired by the colors of an object or the paintings in the space and create their own work of art focusing on color and pattern."
Thursday's event is just the exciting start for the event's third season. Other plans include partnering with Kern Dance Alliance and Cal State Bakersfield, which has a student group working on a pop-up video installation; a summer garden concert; and the Surrealist Masquerade in October.
The fun starts at 7 p.m. Thursday at the museum, 1930 R St. Admission is $5, free for members and students, and includes materials for the art project.