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A day at the museum
'All at Once in Every Place' by Abel Macias.

MUSEUMS are having a moment, thanks to none other than Beyonce and Jay-Z.

The music video to “Apeshit,” their latest collaborative project, was filmed in Paris’ Louvre, an institution famously picky about filming access.

While taking a day at the SCAD Museum of Art might not be Bey and Jay level, there’s still plenty of reason to show love to our own local institutions.

The SCAD Museum of Art hosts a members-only curator tour this Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

Ben Tollefson, assistant curator of SCAD exhibitions, will give attendees a tour of his three curated exhibitions: “All at Once in Every Place” by Abel Macias, “Huh” by Lily van der Stokker, and “We Have Translated Each Other Into Light” by Michael James O’Brien. Macias’ and van der Stokker’s exhibitions are currently on view at the SCAD Museum of Art, while O’Brien’s is at the Gutstein Gallery.

The tour begins at the museum, and attendees will be bussed over to the Gutstein. Light refreshments will be served after the tour.

“We do a members-only tour once a month, and it flip-flops between going and looking at our private collection and the three rooms in the museum,” explains Kristen Poitras, coordinator of museum visitation at SCAD.

'We Have Translated Each Other Into Light' by Michael James O'Brien.
'We Have Translated Each Other Into Light' by Michael James O'Brien.

As Poitras illustrates, tours for members include more than a tour meant for the public.

“When you come in the museum on a tour for the public, you’re here at 11 a.m. on a Saturday, you go on a tour with a docent,” explains Poitras. “You get the insight behind the artists’ ideas and the shows, but with a curator you’ll get more insight into why they picked this artist, the relationship between a curator and the work on display. The curators are always trying to pick shows that are specific to different groups in the school--not everyone shown is going to be a painter or a sculptor. We want to hit the different colleges. We have a huge variety of different shows and how it would interest and benefit the students.”

Poitras joined the museum staff last July and oversees membership and the perks they get. She says the response to the tours have been positive so far.

“We did a behind-the-scenes tour in our painting storage, and one of the members said it was so nice when you see what someone’s telling you what you’re looking for,” she says. “You can walk through the museum alone and not get a fraction of what you get with a curator. It’s nice to hear other people’s perspectives, what they intended.”

'Huh' by Lily van der Stokker
'Huh' by Lily van der Stokker

Getting a membership to a museum is a simple way to gain access to private events like the curators’ tour, and it comes loaded with other perks as well.

“We always invite members to any openings we have for shows, which is open to the public as well,” she says. “We’ve had activities in the theatre, we have SCAD professors do a PowerPoint ... we try to do something special. Members get free admission for a year, ten percent off admission for any friends and family, ten percent off [purchases from] the gift store, and one or two free guest passes depending on the membership.”

Poitras emphasizes that the SCAD Museum of Art is open to all, not just SCAD students.

“Funny enough, the majority of our members are retired people who just have an interest in art, but they themselves are not artists,” she notes. “A lot of our members are SCAD graduates. If you’re a SCAD student, you get free access to the museum all the time; you just don’t get member events. SCAD students have access to curators and docents anyway. We have a wide variety of different demographics of our members.”