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Museum bash will mix some bugs with 'Beetle-mania'

First Fridays at Niagara University's Castellani Art Museum have been reinvented as "Mixers at the CAM" and will open today from 5 to 8 p.m. with "Beetle-mania."

You don't have to have a Ph.D. in art to enjoy Mixers at the CAM, and you certainly don't have to enjoy bugs to appreciate the centerpiece sculpture -- a giant inflatable bug but you do need a good sense of humor to enjoy the fun, according to Susan Clements, coordinator of events.

Clements calls "Mixers at the CAM" a family offering with art activities for kids, such as making bugs out as pipe cleaners, as well as all the First Friday events people have always enjoyed, such as live music, a full cash bar, complimentary refreshments, raffles and door prizes.

Those attending will be able to dance to the live music of Beatles tribute band the BBC Band, while they are in the central gallery amid an inflatable giant beetle "Max Streicher: Metamorphosis." The giant bug, a dung beetle, lies on its back in the museum, measuring 30 feet wide, 21 feet long and 20 feet tall.

Unlike First Fridays, the "Mixers at the CAM" will be seasonal events offered in the middle of the month, four times a year, and will be "bigger and better," said Clements.

"We will no longer be tying our art openings to our mixers. It will be purely a party," Clements said.

Upcoming "Mixers at the CAM" will be:

Dec. 12 -- Holiday Bash, featuring the band Penelope, which was voted first place in the university's music survey; March 20 -- Swing Into Spring with the big-band sounds of Jon Seiger and the All Stars; and June 19 the Art of Tango with a D.J. and dance instructors.

Admission for all mixers is $5 for non-members and free for Castellani Art Museum members.


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