Visiting LACMA: Jazz on Fridays


I enjoy going to museums. I took an art history class in college. Believe me, I can appreciate art. Mention modern art to me, though, and you’ve lost me. Take me to a modern art museum and we’re no longer talking.

So when my roommate Gloria approached me last week about a museum she had to visit for her art class, I was a little hesitant. The first museum she had us visit for that class wasn’t at all what I expected. (A room with a lone floor fan in the corner and a drum in the center? C’mon.) She assured me it wouldn’t be as bad, so we left for Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Friday, hitting only minor traffic through Hollywood and entering the parking garage a little before sunset. As our group ascended to the entrance, we were greeted with swarms of fold out seats and roped off areas and a stage set up for a free jazz concert, a summer tradition at the museum on Fridays. I was now fully convinced that this night couldn’t get any better.

Drinks were served on either side of us. Groups both young and old, dressed to the nines, stood around talking art, music, and politics. It was like some strange cultured heaven I wanted to be a part of forever. My boyfriend nudged me towards the entrance of the museum, and the group climbed the stairs losing one another almost instantly and wandering the many large rooms of Picasso, Pollock, and Warhol. The building across the esplanade housed more contemporary art, with giant ceramic balloon animals and basketballs suspended in a tank of water. After a couple hours of viewing art we didn’t understand and art we couldn’t believe was created, we made our way through the throngs of jazz listeners and descended into the depths of concrete hell. But if I had my way, I’d have stayed put with a drink in hand, listening to jazz till dark.