Photography, poetry and potent potables? It must be a night at the museum. For its latest Art After Dark gathering on Thursday, the Bakersfield Museum of Art delves deeper into its latest photo exhibition along with a few additions.

This evening gathering will highlight “Cuyama: Photographs by Noé Montes," part of the new fall exhibitions, as well as another project on which Montes collaborated.

While working on his own exhibition highlighting the people, places and culture of the Cuyama Valley, the photographer also led a group of Cal State Bakersfield senior art majors on their own adventure of research and picture-making.

Students were challenged to look at their own community with a fresh perspective, leading to the title "New Eyes." The temporary exhibit features the work of six photographers — Efrem Fitts, Esai Mendez, Allie Page, Andrea Rivera Leyva, Liz Sherwyn and Rashad Thomas — each of which took on a different theme for their grouping. For example, in Mendez's "Palmate," he reflects on how “agriculture produces a never-ending system of grids, both organic and inorganic." Page, in her work "What We Have in Common," focuses on images connecting various faiths, writing in her statement, "Instead of belittling each other, members of the interfaith community look for common ground and find mutual respect."

In addition to the photography, the evening will include poetry readings inspired by Montes' work. Local poets set to perform include Mateo Lara, Caitlin Wolf, Robert Corona, Shelby Pinkham and Carla Chacon.

New downtown restaurant hot spot The 18hundred will provide the hand-crafted cocktails and other libations. Imbibers can purchase The 18hundred spicy margarita or the double rye Collins. Oenophiles can opt for cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay from Lodi's Maggio Family Vineyards or Le Grand Courtage Brut Rose from France and beer lovers can choose between Belching Beaver Phantom Bride IPA and North Coast Brewing Scrimshaw Pilsner.

Sponsored by Moneywise Wealth Management, Art After Dark is held the last Thursday of the month from February through October. Next month's event will be a surrealist masquerade that falls on Halloween.

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.

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