Cleveland Museum of Art Gets Festive and Educational This Weekend

This weekend, the Cleveland Museum of Art hosts two special, yet very different events. On Friday eventing, the CMA celebrates the sights and sounds of Mardi Gras and Carnival with its latest themed MIX Happy Hour event. The following day, the mood becomes much more serious as internationally renowned artist and activist Zanele Muholi visits Cleveland to discuss her important work with black lesbian women in South Africa.

February’s MIX Happy Hour at the Cleveland Museum of Art celebrates Mardi Gras and Carnival with MIX: Mask from 5 to 9 p.m. this Friday, Feb. 5. Guests will have the opportunity to explore masks from around the world in the museum’s galleries, enjoy performances by students from the Cleveland Humanities Collaborative and even create your own Mardi Gras-style mask.

“We’re really excited about the next installment of our monthly MIX events. MIX: Mask gives a nod to the celebrations of Mardi Gras and Carnival through mask making workshops and tours in the galleries, highlighting festive events in art,” CMA Director of Visitor Experience Aaron Petersal explains. “In the Atrium, you can dance to a unique blend of New Orleans Jazz and Brazilian Carnival rhythms spun by DJ Dongo, all while sipping on theme-inspired cocktails. This is going to be a ‘festival’ CMA style!”

Additionally, you’ll have a chance to check out the CMA’s current exhibitions, Silent Poetry: Masterworks of Chinese Painting, Imagining the Garden, Muhammad Shah’s Royal Persian Tent and Jordan Wolfson: Two Early Videos.

Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 day of event and free for CMA members.

click to enlarge Cleveland Museum of Art Gets Festive and Educational This Weekend (2)
Zanele Muholi, Courtesy of the Artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery
On Saturday, the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Contemporary Artists Lecture Series brings artist and activist Zanele Muholi to Cleveland for the very first time for a special presentation on her work. Muholi’s lecture begins at 2 p.m. in the CMA’s Recital Hall.

Muholi explores the lives of black lesbian women living in South Africa through photography, installation and video. Muholi’s work seeks to raise awareness of the contradictions in these women’s lives in a country where same-sex marriage is legal, but is also plagued with intolerance and hate crimes.

“We are delighted to be able to bring to Cleveland South African artist Zanele Muholi, a passionate and provocative speaker who is also one of today’s most incisive portraitists and visual activists,” says curator of photography at the Cleveland Museum of Art Barbara Tannenbaum. “Whether documenting the lives of LGBTI people in South Africa or turning the camera on herself, Zanele’s arresting images cause us to really look and consider the individual in the picture. When seen as an entire body of work, her images create a portrait of a threatened yet important and vital community in South Africa.”

The lecture will be followed by a reception and book signing in the Recital Hall lobby. Admission is free, but registration is recommended. To reserve tickets, call the ticket desk at 216-421-7350 or visit

Additionally, Muholi will stop by MOCA Cleveland this Thursday for a special Q&A following Sistah Sinema’s screening of Muholi’s Difficult Love (2010, 48 minues). The screening begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 4 at MOCA Cleveland (11400 Euclid Ave.). The event is free with museum admission.

(Cleveland Museum of Art) 11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7340,

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