Art Parties: Finding Cocktails and Music to Go With Exhibits in NYC

By Troy Segal

Think museums are stuffy, or that art exhibits only take place amid staid white walls? Think again. With live music and libations aplenty, the venues below turn art viewing into party time.


DJ Shakey-600

The lobby café of the Rubin Museum of Art morphs into the K2 Lounge on Friday evenings: Nibble on pan-Asian eats and martinis, sway to acoustic jazz and take a free tour of the Himalayan artworks on display upstairs. On Nov. 21, Julie Covello aka DJ Shakey provides the soundtrack.

Photo:  Jerk Alert Productions -- Flickr

Photo: Jerk Alert Productions — Flickr

Rev up for the weekend with The Wind Up at The Jewish Museum on Nov. 20: Fueled by an open wine and beer bar, it’s a night of DJ-spun tunes, a performance by poet/rapper DJ Mykki Blanco, T-shirt making, and a tour of the exhibit From the Margins: Lee Krasner and Norman Lewis, 1945 – 1952.


On a Friday night, go Beyond the Bookcase on the wall of the Enoteca bar at the Mondrian SoHo hotel and you’ll discover a secret space that houses art installations and a live-music lounge. On Nov. 21, feast your eyes on a work by the skull-obsessed street muralist Bradley Theodore, while the music of singer Katie Costello fills your ears.


Je suis Eli -- Flickr

Je suis Eli — Flickr

When it comes to merging art and entertainment, trust the Metropolitan Museum of Art to take an elevated approach—literally: Its second-floor Balcony Bar, which rings the Great Hall, has waiters serving light bites and drinks to the tune of a string quartet playing contemporary classical pieces every Friday and Saturday night. It’s the perfect pause that refreshes after a gallery tour—or before.