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The Yellowstone Art Museum provides a preview to Halloween at the second annual Beaux Arts Ball this Saturday, Oct. 25. The Beaux Arts tradition has its roots in the European arts, architecture and design communities. It has thrived in America, celebrated by university students and other communities. The YAM is bringing some of that tradition to Billings in support of its educational programming by offering Museum members and the community a chance to add what YAM director Robert Knight calls "a little excitement and a splash of decadence into their lives."

Last year, 300 costumed guests entered gallery spaces transformed by exotic lighting, projections of art/thriller movies and weird photography on the walls, belly dancers, Tarot readers and eerie acoustic audio art, food and drink. Venture Theatre Improv and hot sounds by Bruce's Music completed the evening and made the YAM "the place to be for All Hallows celebrations," Knight said.

New this year is a game of chance with the winner taking home a Yogo sapphire courtesy of Montague's Jewelers. Guests have the opportunity to remember their revels with posed or candid costume photos by Toni Burtchaell Photography. Three winners will take home live auction items cast in the spirit of the evening including a "hillbilly dinner" provided by Beyond Basil Caterers.

Highlight of the evening is the costume contest. Master and Mistress of Ceremonies, director Knight and YAM booster Sherri Cornett will work with judges Dwight McKay, Eric Simonsen and artist Brian Scott as guests stroll the catwalk in full costume for a tally of votes.

Costume categories this year include: most inappropriate; sirens/divas/queens; villains/demons/bad boys and girls; best use of duct tape, plastic wrap or leather; celebrity impersonators; best team effort; mythological creatures, and utilitarian objects. Photos of the winners will be posted on the Museum's web site.

Tickets are $50, three for $133 and eight for $331.31. They may be purchased at the Museum or Billings area Holiday Stations. Or call the museum with a credit card, 256-6804. Guests must be 21 years of age or older.

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Special thanks go to Eric Simonsen for his efforts at chairing this event for a smashing second year, and to the 14-member committee who has worked diligently for months to make the event even more successful this year. And a huge round of applause to the event sponsors A&E Architects, Yellowstone Bank and the Sanctuary Spa and Salon.

Don't miss the best party of the season and a chance to be a little bit naughty for an artfullv nice cause. Yellowstone Art Museum's Beaux Arts Ball, Saturday, Oct. 25, from 8 p.m. until midnight. For more informationn call 256-6804.

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