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Hickory Museum of Art Opening Day Festivities for Exhibitions “Ben Venom: BANG YOUR HEAD”, “Ping’s Studio”, and “Aloha Shirts: Celebrating Paradise Culture”

Join Hickory Museum of Art on Saturday, August 12 for an unforgettable day of art, music, food, and fun. Our Opening Day Celebration marks the highly anticipated opening day of three exciting exhibitions at Hickory Museum of Art: “Ben Venom: BANG YOUR HEAD”, “Ping’s Studio”, and “The Art of Aloha Shirt”. To celebrate this momentous occasion, we have planned a range of festivities that promise to delight visitors of all ages.

Exhibition Openings
“Ben Venom: BANG YOUR HEAD” will be on view in the Coe Gallery from August 12 until November 26, 2023. Working with repurposed materials to create textile-based works, some spanning 12 feet in length, Ben Venom contrasts the counterculture components of gangs and punk/metal music with the comforts of domesticity. This collision of traditional quilting techniques with elements tied to the fringes of society reenvisions the story of the material through a softer lens.
HMA’s “Ping’s Studio” exhibition is an in-depth look at the creative process and client relationships of local tattoo artist Phinthone Senesombath. Ping is a fine artist, conducting a strict tattoo practice where she only tattoos her original artwork. This exhibition will include a re-creation of her studio complete with inks, tools, flash wall, original sketches, and photographs of completed tattoos. “Ping’s Studio” will be on view in the Shuford Gallery from August 12 until November 26.
Explore the history and artistry of Hawaii’s enduring fashion statement, the Aloha shirt. The exhibition “Aloha Shirts: Celebrating Paradise Culture” includes nearly 50 vintage and modern examples on loan
from private collections. It will be on view in the Objects Gallery from August 12, 2023 through November 26, 2023. Don’t miss the opportunity to meet the exceptional artists behind the exhibitions. Both Ben Venom and Ping will be present throughout the day, ready to engage with visitors and share insights into their creative process and artwork.

Poker Run Event
One of the highlights of the day is the Poker Run event with Twisted Covenant MSC. Participants will visit five checkpoints to collect playing cards for their hand(s): Bodhi Joi Studio (Ping’s Studio in Hickory, NC),
History Museum of Catawba County (Newton, NC), Pop’s Old Company Store and Tavern (Catawba, NC), Children’s Advocacy & Protection Center of Catawba County (Conover, NC), and Hickory Museum
of Art (registration and final stop). The objective of the poker run is to have the best poker hand (or worst) at the end of the run. All motorcycles and cars are welcome. Twisted Covenant MSC representative, Billy Dagenhart commented: “Twisted Covenant MSC is honored to be working beside Hickory Museum of Art as we bring awareness for the children in our area while supporting the Children’s Advocacy & Protection Center of Catawba County.” Onsite registration begins at 10 AM and wraps at 11 AM with the departure of the first motorcycle or car. The registration fee is $20 per hand. As an added bonus, the first 25 registrants for the Poker Run will receive a complimentary Aloha Shirt, adding a touch of tropical flair to their experience.

Live Music by 20/20 Rock Band
From 1 PM to 3 PM, visitors will be treated to an electric performance by the 20/20 Rock Band with covers from The Who, Rolling Stones, Beatles, Monkees, Kings of Leon, Coldplay, Aerosmith,
Steppenwolf, and more. Don’t forget to bring your dancing shoes along!
“Hickory Museum of Art is excited to collaborate with Twisted Covenant on the museum’s first-ever Poker Run. What could be better? Every chance we have to collaborate, grow our audience, and invite new
people into the museum is a good day at HMA. Plus, the proceeds benefit the Children’s Advocacy and Protection Center of Catawba County and 20/20 will be playing in the Coe Gallery at the end of the run. We appreciate the partnerships represented throughout this event and are thankful to Twisted Covenant for helping organize the Poker Run,” said HMA Executive Director, Clarissa Starnes.
Food Trucks, Adult Beverages & More!
To satisfy your cravings, we have arranged for a selection of food trucks offering a variety of cuisines. Adult beverages* will also be on-site to provide refreshing drinks for those looking to relax and unwind.
(*Must be 21 or older.)
We’re also holding a 50/50 raffle, giving attendees the chance to win some exciting prizes while supporting the arts. Each ticket purchased contributes to the prize pool, with half the proceeds going to
the lucky winner and the other half to the Children’s Advocacy Protection Center.
Hickory Museum of Art is thankful for the generous support from our exhibition sponsors Linda and John Greenwell, City of Hickory, Spark the Arts (This project was supported by the North Carolina Arts Council,
a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. The arts are back in North Carolina. The Spark the Arts grant promotes audience inclusion and re-engagement in the arts.); the United Arts Council of Catawba County (This project was made possible through an innovative artist grant through the United Arts Council of Catawba County), Hickory Community Relations Council, along with annual sponsors Shurtape Technologies, Alex Lee, Inc. Beaver Family Foundation, and the Broyhill Family Foundation. Musical performance sponsored by Chase and Hickory Funeral Home.