Artisan beer. Emerging artists. Good music.

The combo demands our attention.

And it’s a combo that the Tucson Museum of Art is bringing our way with Saturday’s Art on Tap event.

Here’s what you’ll find:

More than 50 artists will exhibit works in the TMA courtyard. Sixteen local breweries will serve up craft beer. Music by the likes of Saint Maybe and Carlos Arzate and the Kind Souls. Food trucks. Art demos. Fellow beer/art/good times lovers.

“There are so many arts groups in Tucson that don’t have a place to play, so it makes sense that we invite them here,” says Michael Fenlason, TMA’s spokesman.

There’s another reason, of course: TMA has lots of extra space around the museum that just cries out for community use. And the organization is eager to reach out to broader audiences.

“We want to leverage our campus and spontaneous, participatory art,” Fenlason says. “We are trying to break down the walls and are having a big party to celebrate that.”

And what a party.

Among the breweries expected to pour a few are Oak Creek, Barrio, Borderlands and Ten Fifty-Five.

University of Arizona student Graham Thompson, who works at 1702 restaurant, an early supporter of Art on Tap, thought an event like this demanded an exhibit of art by young and emerging artists.

“I did ads, worked with the Tucson Pima Arts Commission, had help from friends, and there was a lot of word of mouth, too,” says Thompson about how he went about securing artists.

“It’s been hugely popular,” he says. “People are really excited.”

In addition, Thompson will be doing an interactive art piece that will require some participation from attendees.

“In the end, we’ll reveal a piece of art created by a community,” he says.

The works will be displayed on the patio, not far from where the beer will be poured and the music will be played.

Proceeds from the 21-and-over event will go to TMA’s lauded education program.

But it’s the chance to throw open the museum doors and entice new people to the arts that’s got Fenlason most excited.

“One of the things a museum should do is to give opportunities to arts in all aspects,” he says. “We want to empower people to do art.”

Contact reporter Kathleen Allen at or 573-4128.