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Picking your 5x7 party scene: Do you Splurge or are you Social?

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Austin Photo Set: News_5x7 social_amoa_arthouse_april 2012_1
A party-goer at 2012's 5x7 Social. Photo by J. Dennis Thomas
Austin Photo Set: News_5x7 social_amoa_arthouse_april 2012_17
AMOA-Arthouse buzzing during 2012's 5x7 Splurge. Photo by J. Dennis Thomas
Austin Photo Set: News_5x7 social_amoa_arthouse_april 2012_1
Austin Photo Set: News_5x7 social_amoa_arthouse_april 2012_17

It can take a lifetime to figure out which party scene is most comfortably "yours," much less which party within the art scene. Complicating social anxieties this week, AMOA-Arthouse hosts its popular double-header, 5x7 Splurge and 5x7 Social, leaving many art- and party-lovers pondering, "But which do I go to?" 

An annual, double-event art sale "celebrating the talent, creative vision and diversity of contemporary artists with strong ties to Texas and the museum," over 1,000 pieces of 5x7-inch works of art are anonymously displayed along AMOA-Arthouse gallery walls, provoking event-goers buy art based upon instant attraction and chemistry. Only after the purchase is the artist revealed.

Simply put, 5x7 Splurge and 5x7 Social exist under the same premise of selling the small works of art to support the museum, but each draw distinctly different crowds. To determine which one of the two you should hit, see our guide below.

5x7 Splurge

Time and date: Thursday, 7 - 10 p.m. Sale begins at 8:30 p.m. signaled by a whistle blow.

Vibe: It's called "Splurge" for a reason. This is the event the big[ger] spenders and/or [more] determined art collectors often choose to attend. The whistle blows when the sale begins — and people run.

Advantage: First dibs. As the event takes place the night before the 5x7 Social, Splurge-goers get to it first.

Damage: High. Ticket is $150, and pieces of art are $150 (discounted to $100 for museum members).

Entertainment: DJ set by Dan Gentile of Flying Turns

Location: The museum's second floor gallery, where exposed brick walls and industrial beams abound.

Food and drink: Bissinger's, Driskill Grill, Independence Brewing Co., Karma, Pedernales Cellars, Ranch 616, Tito's Handmade Vodka and TRACE.

Dress: Casual Austin-chic. You know you can get away with anything in this town.

Attend if: You have more money to burn, you love art and the sport of collecting it, and if you are in the market and mood for something a bit more posh.

5x7 Social

Time and date: Friday, 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. Artwork will be available for purchase as soon as the event opens.

Vibe: As it's as much of a social event as an art event, the Social skews a bit younger and more laid back. 

Advantage: It's an easier point of entry to the art-world. Less options because many 5x7 pieces have been purchased the night before at Splurge, but there's also less stress.

Damage: Lower. Tickets are $45, but 5x7 art remains $150 a pop (discounted to $100 for museum members).

Entertainment: Live performance by The Whiskey Shivers

Location: The modern AMOA-Arthouse roof deck overlooking Congress Avenue and all of downtown Austin.

Food and drink: Hops & Grain, Tito's Handmade Vodka, Bissinger's, Crave Catering, Frank and J. Black's Feel Good Kitchen & Lounge.

Dress: It's Friday night, so step up your game just a bit. Why not?

Attend if: You prefer live music and open air, you also love art, and if kicking it with friends is just as important as purchasing art.

Sweeping generalizations? Sure. But before you complain about prices or stereotypes, do know that all proceeds from the events benefit AMOA-Arthouse exhibitions and public programs.

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