The Contemporaries Winter Bash on Feb. 7 played off the Portland Museum of Art’s newest exhibit, “Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago” with a theme of “diving in.”

As always, the Contemporaries, a group of art lovers who support the museum with an annual membership of $200 per person or $300 per couple, dressed for the occasion – this time with island flair.

“I just love the theme this year,” said steering committee member Lila Hunt Davies of Cape Elizabeth, wearing a shimmering blue gown and a mermaid-tail braid.

“I feel like it’s beautifully decorated in a way that really fits the theme of ‘Relational Undercurrents,’ ” said Allison Green of South Portland. “It’s nice to see that resonance.”

Raffle tickets during the Bash raised more than $1,600 in support of the Friends of the Collection’s acquisition of “Play Sculpture,” which was part of the recent Isamu Noguchi exhibition and will be placed in the David E. Shaw and Family Sculpture Park this spring.

“Tonight is about discovery, diving into untold and lesser known facts about the museum,” said Director of Communications Graeme Kennedy, sitting on “Play Sculpture,” the only piece of art in the museum built for such use.

Guests enjoyed locally sourced drinks and sushi made with locally sustainable seafood, served with cocktail napkins printed with fun facts about the museum. For example: “It would take 10 years of constant gallery rotations to see everything in the permanent collection.”

A green screen photo booth by P3 was on-theme as well. After posing for the camera, guests saw themselves within some of the museum’s best known pieces of art, including Winslow Homer’s “Weatherbeaten,” Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s “Confidences (Secrets)” and Rockwell Kent’s “Wreck of the D.T. Sheridan.”

“The photo booth is great this year,” said Gretchen Johnson of Cape Elizabeth, who chose Homer’s beloved seascape. “With the theme being dive in, being able to literally immerse yourself in the art is a fun way to tie it together.”

Amy Paradysz is a freelance writer and photographer based in Scarborough. She can be reached at:

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