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March 01, 2006

All The Martinis You Can Drink, Surrounded By Priceless Artwork

What could possibly go wrong?

The glistening white Santiago Calatrava addition has made the Milwaukee Art Museum one of the city's classiest social addresses. But a recent martini fete held there turned into an overcrowded, drunken affair. Some unruly guests accosted artworks, which have been taken off display for a checkup.

A hallway at the Milwaukee Art Museum was among the areas open for a party that offered unlimited martinis for $30. The photo is from 2003.

People threw up, passed out, were injured, got into altercations and climbed onto sculptures at Martinifest, a semi- formal event organized by Clear Channel Radio and held at the museum Feb. 11, according to several people who attended or worked at the event.

"Hindsight is 20-20 . . . it was probably too cheap," Kerry Wolfe, a local programming director for Clear Channel, said of the event's premise - unlimited martinis for $30.

...

As was the case with prior events, the sculptures lining one of the long gallerias in the museum's Calatrava-designed building were in close proximity to serving areas during Martinifest. But this time, food, drink and vomit were on and around some of the artworks by night's end, according to some accounts.

"It was crazy," said attendee Kathleen Christians, 39. "People were shoving people over. People were getting sick, screaming, shouting, messing with the artwork."

A group of four young men climbed onto "Standing Woman," a tall, bronze sculpture of a goddess-like woman with exaggerated features by early 20th-century American artist Gaston Lachaise.

"They were standing on it, grabbing the boobs, and somebody was just taking pictures with a cell phone," said Laura Collins, 35.

Classy.

Clear Channel Cable regrets its decision making and will more throroughly vet possible venues for parties.

They are keeping away from museums. Their next party will be "All the Rotgut Gin and Amphetamines You Can Consume, With The Tigers!," to be held at the Big Cats cages at the Milwaukee Zoo.

"We don't anticipate any problems," a Clear Channel representative said. "The amphetamines should counteract any loss of inhibition from alcohol, and tigers do not have boobs that can be fondled or photographed." He later corrected himself to say "Male tigers don't have boobs, and female tigers' boobs can only be seen if you get up real close and underneath them, which we don't see as a likelihood."

Survivors of the soiree, if any exist, will all get Clear Channel baseball caps. Six have been pre-ordered.

Thanks to Scott.


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posted by Ace at 12:14 PM

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