Hunt for ‘juicy booties’ at Art Institute


Mitch Stomner

Butt Hunt

By Arts & Culture Reporter

America is obsessed with butts. From Nicki Minaj and Kim Kardashian to Chris Evans and Channing Tatum, the best celebrity glutes are always a subject of debate, and art is not immune to booty fever.

Chicago’s first official “Butt Hunt,” a butt-themed scavenger hunt to be hosted May 12 at The Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave., is part of an event series called “Museum Game Nights” run by School of the Art Institute of Chicago students Rachel Kimpton, Lauren Wiley and Melody Williams.

The students, all members of the college’s Student Museum Coalition, organized the Museum Game Night initiative in conjunction with the college’s National Art Education Association, according to Adam Greteman, director of the Masters of Arts in Teaching program at SAIC and faculty adviser for NAEA.

The response to “Butt Hunt” has been massive. More than 2,500 people have RSVP’d on the Facebook event page indicating interest in going, and more than 500 have said they are attending, as of press time.

Wiley said she is anticipating about 200–300 people who RSVP’d will participate, but she would be ecstatic if even 100 people came.

Attendees will have the chance to participate in two Twitter-based contests that will have corresponding hashtags for the tweets. The contests will be limited to an hour-and-a-half time slot. The first is all about quantity: attendees will compete to see who can find the most art and sculpture butts from a list provided just before the hunt starts.

Booty hunters will have their pun skills tested in the second contest, a “caption contest” in which participants compete by coming up with the best buns puns to go along with a piece of museum art.

Greteman said the immediate appeal of an event like Butt Hunt is the “provocative playfulness” of the title itself.

“[The event] allows for some people [to have] broader conversations about representation of bodies in the art world,” Greteman said. “Butts might be low-brow, but they’re something we all have.”

Kimpton said the goal of the Museum Game Night series is to artistically engage millennials who might not find museums fun.

“People can feel alienated by a museum, either because they feel like it’s a place for solidarity [with] particular codes of conduct, or they think it’s a place just for education,” Wiley said.

Anne Kennedy, a 21 year-old from Brookfield, Illinois, said she is planning to attend the event because she loved the Art Institute’s “After Dark” event.

“Sometimes art can be taken a little too seriously,” Kennedy said. “Making art a little bit [more fun] brings a younger culture to it.”

The game nights were originally planned to be biweekly, but with the amount of attention Butt Hunt has gotten, Wiley said they will most likely be held once a month instead.

While the first event is planned for the Art Institute, SMC is not limiting itself to only that museum. Kimpton said the group is in talks with the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave., for its next game night. Kimpton and Wiley said the group has many ideas for future events, including a posing contest to try to mimic the poses of paintings and statues. A Harry Potter-themed game could also be in the works.

“It feels good to have people interested in art in this type of way, like, ‘Why not laugh?,’” Kimpton said. “Art museums don’t need to be pretentious spaces.”