The Albuquerque Museum had its monthly Third Thursday event on Sept. 17 with a variety of organized online events open to the public.
Due to the pandemic, the Third Thursday events shifted to live streams via YouTube and Facebook on April 16.
The event began with museum director Andrew Connors showing psychedelic artwork from the 1960’s and 70’s, then a yoga class with YogaZo instructor Elizabeth Kivlighan and ended with a performance by the band “Let it Grow.”
Connors said they were fortunate to have the support of the city during the pandemic, but they faced rough patches as well.
“Our challenges through the pandemic were challenges of creativity, rather than challenges of distress,” Connors said.
Connors said Third Thursdays started about 10 years ago to provide the public a more manageable opportunity to attend the museum.
“The Third Thursdays were an opportunity to involve those people that couldn’t easily get to the museum through the middle of the day, but wanted to do something at the museum in the evening,” Connors said.
Despite the tour being online this year due to the pandemic, Connors said there are some benefits to viewing the artworks remotely.
“The nice thing about a virtual tour is that people can take it from the comfort of their own home, in their most comfortable chair and you can really look at the details of the works of art without worrying about getting too close,” he said.
Staff member Jessica Coyle said there are some positives to having an event online, and there are some differences.
“The nice thing about this is, if for some reason you couldn’t listen to the music tomorrow night, you could choose to listen to it Saturday morning. If you want, you can look at that yoga video three months from now,” Coyle said.
Coyle said everything they did for this month’s Third Thursday is related to one of the museum’s exhibitions, “Dreams Unreal: The Genesis of the Psychedelic Rock Poster.”
Connors added that the museum tour focuses on around 15 of about the total 130 posters involved with the exhibition, which will be on display until Oct. 4.
“I just picked out some that showed the range of aesthetic traditions and the range of artists that did the designs and performed in the concerts,” Connors said.
Connors said he hopes people will still come see the exhibits in person because an online setting is not as immersive as an in-person setting.
“Any tour that’s on a monitor screen or on a television is never going to have the same richness and complexity as seeing the objects in person,” he said.
Connors said the museum will be doing more Third Thursday events in the future, continuing the long-term event.
“We always plan on doing Third Thursday events. Whether or not they’re virtual tours depends on what will serve our audiences best,” Connors said.
Coyle said their goal for the event is for people to have fun and enjoy what the museum has to offer.
“We’re just looking for ways for people to still interact with the museum from their homes. To remind them that we’re still here, we still have fun things going on and it’s stuff you can do from home versus having to come out to our building,” Coyle said.
Jesus Mata is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JesusMataJr99