On Thursday, February 4, Maine college students are invited to take an intimate look at fine art at the Portland Museum of Art's first-ever College Night.

The Portland Museum of Art has always been a historic landmark in downtown Portland, especially for art lovers. As the largest museum in Maine, the Portland Museum of Art holds over 17,000 pieces of art in its collection.

Current exhibitions at the Museum include: Objects of Wonder: Four Centuries of Still Life from the Norton Museum of Art; Collage, Piecing it Together, and New Acquisitions 2009: In Black and White.

College Night will go beyond having students simply come to the Museum and look at exhibitions; attendees "will have a chance to meet students from other colleges, listen to some great local bands, enjoy free food donated by Leonardo's Pizza and Wild Burrito, create art and win prizes," said Jacqueline Richardson, the marketing and public relations assistant at the Museum.

There will be three different acts providing a musical accompaniment to the art atmosphere. Kyle Downs, Bowdoin's own visual arts technician, will DJ at the beginning of the evening.

The live music will kick off with Phantom Buffalo, a pop/indie-rock band based in Portland who has appeared with Of Montreal, Youth Group, and Matt & Kim. Marion Grace, a local alternative rock band, will also play at the event.

For those who hope for a more artistically interactive evening, there will be two art projects sponsored by Artist and Craftsman Supply in Portland.

"There will be a block printing demo where students will be able to create their own block print, as well as a sketching scavenger hunt that will take students throughout the Museum's galleries," said Richardson.

"Students will have to complete a series of sketches, and once they are finished they will be eligible to enter a raffle for prizes such as gift certificates to Rogues Gallery, The Great Lost Bear, Hannaford, Wild Burrito and Material Objects," she said.

The Museum hopes that the event will connect Maine's college students to the local culture and art scene, especially those students coming to Maine from out of state or overseas.

"The Museum wants to attract a younger audience and remind students that there is a great museum right in downtown Portland," said Richardson.

"We want to showcase all of the amazing exhibitions, collections, and programs and to encourage students to become active members of the Museum community," she said.

College Night at the Museum is free for all students with a valid Maine student I.D. It will run from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Portland Museum of Art, located at 7 Congress Square Plaza in Portland.