REVIEW: MIX @ Cleveland Museum of Art by Jenna Thomas


MIX at the Cleveland Museum of Art is exactly the excuse young people need to get out into Cleveland and appreciate one of city’s great treasures.

With all of the regular galleries open, you have all of the typical attractions the museum has to offer and more. Special tours running throughout the night gave unique glimpses at themes you might not usually be able to explore — the celebrity obsession in modern art, K-pop, and the role of movies and TV in CMA’s collection. Alternatively, CMA offered opportunities for guests to experiment with some of the classic pop art symbols. Andy Warhol’s seemingly uninteresting Campbell’s can of tomato soup has become an iconic image, and inspired the CMA Pop Art Grocery Store. Attendees decorated Chinese food takeout boxes and empty bottles of Tums, and created new and original brands of cereal.

While the CMA brought the art, DJ Red-I brought the pop. A local DJ and producer, she was spinning a setlist of both classic pop and some newbies. No one in the crowd seemed disappointed. The beats bouncing off the walls as people walked between the works of Pollock and Kooning, Mondrian and Monet, provided a new atmosphere that you cannot get on your regular art museum trips. In the main atrium, the diverse mix of folks danced and drank. In one nook, the “young friends of the Cleveland Museum of Art” Column & Stripe hosted Pop Art trivia. The hosts were enthusiastic and welcoming, and although my friends and I brought the mean age of the group down about ten years, we did not feel out of place.

The party is an 18+ event, but older adults dominated the crowd. For $10, this celebration is heavily underappreciated by the youngsters of Cleveland. Sure, you can’t buy an overpriced alcoholic drink, but there is more than enough to entertain you for a night. Grab dinner in University Circle, answer some trivia, dance and explore the museum.

The next MIX is on Fri 2/1, when the theme will be the media. It is a celebration of their current Who RU2 Day exhibit — an investigation and commentary on the relationship between the mass media and art. I implore all of my peers to visit the works of Carl Pope Jr., Walid Raad and Enrique Chagoya while you have the chance, and the next MIX is the best opportunity to do so.

Jenna Thomas is a sophomore at Cleveland State University studying nonprofit administration and Spanish. She is particularly interested in refugee and immigrant services and criminal justice reform, and is a tutor at Building Hope in the City’s Hope Center. In addition, Jenna is the founder and president of CSU’s university chapter of Free the Slaves working to make CSU a certified Fair Trade University.

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