It's a Family Affair

With Friday Nights at the de Young on hiatus until March 30, 2012, we thought we’d take a moment to recognize some of our most dedicated supporters. Meet the Pelaez family, longtime museum members and intrepid fans of Friday Nights at the de Young. Parents Jenna and Steve along with their two kids, Payton, 7 and Aria, 5 have rarely missed a Friday Night in the past six years. We asked them what were some of the highlights from their weekly ritual.

The Pelaez family

Is there a particular Friday Night that sticks out in your memory?

The night we walked in and saw a giant image of a man's head talking to the patrons, I thought, "This is the most incredible thing ever!" People dressed in elaborate costumes were roaming around Wilsey Court, and an opera singer dressed as an angel wearing an enormous ball gown with giant wings spanning six feet was singing arias. It was a magical night, and I felt so privileged to be a museum member and a San Francisco resident. I kept thinking, "This is where we live!" It was so wonderful to enjoy something that exciting so close to home. We told all of our friends about it and made sure we invited them to attend the same event the following year.

The Pelaez family in full Friday Night regalia at the de Young

What is your favorite part of Friday Nights? Why?

I love that we are welcomed as a family into an environment rich with culture–live music, dancing, artist-in-residence exhibits, and, of course, the art-making table. The de Young is the only place where my children get to experience the richness of various forms of art in an adult setting, but they’re still welcomed as children. Over the years, they have gotten to know the docents, they’ve spent time sitting in the front row, and Payton has been dancing to the live music since he was two years old.

Do you have a favorite piece of art in the collection? Why?

Yes! Superman, 1962, by Mel Ramos is our family favorite. When Payton was two years old, he would dress up in his superman costume every Friday night for our outing to the de Young. That was the first painting he wanted to see every time.

Super Payton!

Do you bring your family to Friday Nights at the de Young? Share your favorite memories of Friday Nights in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.

Can’t wait until March? Spend your weekends Doing and Viewing Art at both the de Young and the Legion of Honor. And check the calendar for upcoming events associated with The Cult of Beauty: The Victorian Avant-Garde, 1860–1900, including live chamber music, hands-on art-making, and more!