Bargain Culture at the Phillips After 5

I’ve been trying to get to the Phillips after 5 for years now, but the timing has never worked. However, I vowed in my New Years resolutions to be better at trying some of the fun free (and/or discount) activities that Washington has to offer, so this seemed like a good first stop. The current exhibition is by Per Kirkeby – a Danish artist with a keen interest in geology that is reflected throughout his paintings.

I co-opted a good friend, who spent time in Copenhagen completing her Masters in Design from the Corcoran, to come with me. She and I rolled in to the gallery around 5:30 last Thursday, and it was already packed! I had no idea it was that popular. As a side note, you should check out her fabulous fabric collection. I’m particularly partial to this one that will be coming to a chair my living room in the near future.

We toured the gallery first, participated in the Lego challenge that was being run by the staff  (see my creation below), and then headed to the cocktail party.


All-in-all I had a great time. If you are interested in attending in the future, here are all the things that you need to know about attending Phillips After 5.

1. Tickets should be purchased in advance. Tickets were $12, and available for purchase online. Apparently, the event often sells out, so definitely buy tickets in advance. Plus, it makes it easier to check in when you get there.

2. Drinks are not included. This was a bummer since I’d just shelled out 12 bucks to get into the place BUT since I am now a benevolent supporter of the arts, I got over it. Drink tickets were $5 for wine and beer. You could also get soft drinks for $2.50, but where’s the fun in that?

3. Dudes go. I was thinking that the ratio of women to men would be closer to 95:5, but I was totally wrong. For you single ladies, there were pretty good odds there. In fact, I ran into an old friend from high school who as there with a bunch of co-workers (all male), and apparently they go all the time. Very promising.

4. Good people watching. It was quite an eclectic conglomeration of people. Lots of first dates as well. I must admit those were pretty amusing to watch, especially the really weird matches. There was definitely a mom fix-up or two floating around.

5. Oh yeah, and there’s art. In addition to the exhibition, which I must admit was more lively and colorful than I was expecting, the Phillips has a lovely collection of modern art. The price of entry gets you into the general collection, so you are free to tour the other works they have. On Phillips after 5 days, they also have additional lectures and gallery talks, and even the occasional beer tasting!

Price of entry: $12.00

Wine: $5.00

Metro ride to the exhibit: $1.60

Ride home: Free (thanks to my fabulous aforementioned designer friend).

Total cost for a lovely, cultured evening out: $18.60


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