When BMOCA put spray paint and martinis in one room, this is what happened

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An event means business when you walk in and are asked to sign a waiver acknowledging that you accept the risks of using toxic substances. About forty people accepted those risks last night at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art's Graffiti and Martinis and congregated in the purposely industrial-looking upstairs event space prepared to become street art stars. Exposed brick paired with stark white museum-standard walls -- you know the look. The night started with drinks -- 303 Vodka, Rob's Mtn Gin, Avery and Odell beers and not-so-local wine. The demo with Greeley-based artist who's currently showing at BMOCA Amanda Marie Ploegsma began at 7 p.m. In under fifteen minutes, she went through how to do gel medium transfers, how to cut stencils and how to wheat paste.

How could demos happen so quickly? Well, her explanation for wheat pasting was: find a recipe online, or be like her and use wallpaper paste. That's it. An audience member piped up and asked whether you had to over both sides or just one. The answer is both.

Her explanation for gel medium transfers was the most in-depth: use inkjet prints (colored or black-and-white) and cover it with gel medium; place it face down on the canvas, rub it in and wait 24 hours; then rub off the paper with some water. Voila!

For stencils, cut photo paper or velum using an X-acto knife and leave some spaces in between the cuts. While you spray-paint, hold down sections with your hands so paint doesn't get under the stencil. A museum employee let me know later, to remind readers to wear a respirator. You've been warned.

People spray painting at the event were not wearing face masks while they worked by the one open window in the space, though a fan in the window augmented its fresh-air circulating abilities. However, it was not enough to dissipate the smell of sour, wet paint in the room.

The waiver seemed much less like just a formality. Booze and spray paint in an indoor space is pretty toxic.

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