Students patiently waited in a line that stretched to High Street to enjoy an evening of contemporary art, food, live music and film at the Wexner Center.
The Wexner Center for the Arts Fall Student Party allowed Ohio State students to have a look at the newly opened gallery, “After Picasso: 80 Contemporary Artists.” The gallery stayed open until midnight, a special accommodation for the student event.
The Mershon Auditorium lobby was standing-room only as students enjoyed pizza, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and entertainment by two Ohio State music groups: Rust Belt Revival and The Sports.
The evening closed with a free showing of “Mad Max: Fury Road.”
Paul Gaecke is a fourth-year in aerospace engineering and plays lead guitar for Rust Belt Revival. Gaecke said he was very excited to have an opportunity to perform for other students.
“This event’s unique in that it’s one of the first formal events we have played at,” Gaecke said in an email. “Besides the No Labels Kickoff, we have only played at house parties and open mics.”
Rust Belt Revival and The Sports are a part of Musicians’ Collective, an organization for Ohio State student musicians. Amanda Potter, the educator for public and university programs at the Wex, reached out to Musicians’ Collective to find the groups for the event.
“It’s always been part of our mission to do special programming for students,” Potter said. “Many OSU students might come here without a lot of arts experience so we want to create a fun, inviting atmosphere for them.”
Katie Grier, a third-year in nursing, said that she had never been to the Wexner Center before the event.
“I wanted to experience (the Wex) and I’ve heard good things about it,” Grier said.
Potter has been with the Wex for nine years and has witnessed the fall event’s growing success and popularity with students.
“When I first started we would see maybe 800 students but the past three or four years we’ve had at least 1,000 students and sometimes even 1,200 or 1,300 students attend” Potter said.
The Fall Student Party on September 18 brought in over 2,000 students to the Wex, more than any past event.
“The driving idea is to familiarize students and let them know that we exist and we are a resource for them to utilize,” said Kellie Morgan, manager of marketing and outreach at the Wex.
Ohio State students get free entry to all art exhibitions and receive a discounted rate on other ticketed events, such as film screenings and talks with artists, with a BuckID.
Upcoming events at the Wex can be found at their website.