Big Week with Black Tie

Big Week with Black Tie

There's always something to do at the PMA, but every so often a week comes along that is particularly stacked, and last week was one of those weeks. Between Art in Bloom, the Contemporaries Winter Bash, special viewings of our recent Winslow Homer acquisitions, and more, we welcomed more than 5,000 visitors into the PMA in a little more than 36 museum hours. In order to do that, everyone here has to be in sync, and it’s always exciting to see my colleagues, our partners, our sponsors, and our community working together to present unique experiences like last week’s.

One particular group that stood out to me during that span was the Black Tie Company. I hope you’ve had a chance to eat and drink in the new PMA Café by Black Tie—the sandwiches, soups, treats, and drinks are always on point—but one thing you may not have experienced is their incredible work during a PMA event, and last week was their time to shine.

It started, as everything that week in the museum did, with Art in Bloom on Wednesday. I grabbed my morning coffee from the PMA Café (a pitch-perfect triple latte) and noticed that the bakers at Black Tie had been having fun with Art in Bloom’s floral theme. Cupcakes exquisitely iced with blooming flowers really challenged my willpower at such an early hour. I resisted, telling myself that by not eating one on the spot I was providing a generous opportunity for someone to enjoy them later in the day, but couldn’t resist snapping a pic.

Something I love about Black Tie is that they always reflect what is happening at the museum or in the community through creative baked goods and treats. Sold out screenings of Loving Vincent at PMA Films? Grab a Van Gogh-themed cookie on your way in—or as a consolation prize for not grabbing a ticket in advance (PMA Films sell out quickly, y’all!). Looking for something sweet for your sweetie on Valentine’s Day? Puh-leeze—these folks got what you need!

By Thursday, Black Tie was doing what they do best: outstanding catering for huge crowds. Now, when I say crowds, I’m talking about the beloved Contemporaries Winter Bash, which sells out annually and can easily top 300 attendees without breaking a sweat. For me, it’s the kind of party that requires a ton of planning, crossing each T and making sure I’ve dotted the I’s, but for Black Tie it’s business as usual. They must have the lowest blood pressure in the game cause the way they served and catered to the crowds at the #PMAbash was flawless. Their wait staff kept the food coming from start to finish, and their TWO bars were serving out specialty cocktails ’til last call. When I got into the office on Friday morning, I opened up email after email from members talking about what a stellar event it was, and Black Tie deserves a ton of credit for doing what they do.

Want to get a better picture of Black Tie? Come have a meal or a meeting in the PMA Café, become a member and join us for an exhibition opening, or check out their website and start planning your next big thing. They are the real deal, and we couldn’t have done last week without them.

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February 22, 2018
Director of Communications

Graeme is a Maine native who, after ten years living in New York and the west coast, decided to come back and set up shop in Portland. In addition to the PMA, he's held positions at GQ, Rogues Gallery, and Might & Main. He lives in Yarmouth, where he spends most of his free time with his daughters, Ramona and Maude.