Though the Quad could have passed for the Arctic wilderness this week, there’s only one spot on campus permanently Arctic-themed. 

To generate new interest amongst students, the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum hosted a well-attended open house last Friday evening.

According to Director of the Museum and Professor of Anthropology Susan Kaplan in an email to the Orient, approximately 240 students were in attendance at last Friday’s event, an increase from last year. 

“The program provided students an evening social event and encouraged students to see the museums’ exhibitions,” said Kaplan. 

For the first time, the annual open house was followed by a performance by Tanya Tagaq, a Canadian throat singer. The open house event, sponsored by Student Activities, featured a tour of the museum, performances by a cappella groups BOKA and the Meddiebempsters and snacks. 

Before entering the building, students were able to take a picture behind a six-foot tall, 400-pound picture frame carved out of ice.

“I saw them carving ice on the Quad, and that’s honestly what piqued my interest in attending the event,” said Sophie Cowen ’18.

“I honestly went for the food and discovered while there that the Museum actually has a lot to offer,” said Christabel Fosu-Asare ’18. “There were a lot of interesting artifacts and a cappella never hurts.” 

The museum’s current exhibitions include voyager Donald MacMillan’s last voyage aboard the Bowdoin, Early Inuit Art, and The Crocker Land Expedition.

The most popular attractions among students during Friday’s event were interactive ones: the circumpolar map, narwhal and walrus tusks that students could touch, a sledge that students could sit on and a giant student-created touch screen featuring the Crocker Land Expedition. 

“Although, naturally, a lot of people showed up because they heard the words ‘free food’, this event drew in a lot of first-time visitors,” said usher John Medina ’18. “As an usher, I was able to watch people explore the museum and I could definitely tell that a lot of people were interested in what they saw.” 

The purpose of an open house is to draw in new people and turn uninterested students into regular visitors,” Medina said. “I think the museum will be surprised by how many students return. Also, the kids who were twenty-one and older got free wine so that always works.” 

The next exhibition at the museum will feature Arctic beadwork. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free to both Bowdoin students and the public.