Despite being a small city, the arts scene in Boston is massive and sometimes overwhelming. Fear not: whether you’re a movie buff, a fine arts connoisseur or are just curious about local artists and art spaces, the greater Boston area has something for everyone. Check out our suggestions, and get acquainted even before the semester starts!
Community: Art Walks and Festivals
For an artsy introduction to the city, take advantage of all the open, local events during the warmer months. The SoWa Art + Design District, which extends along Harrison Avenue in Boston, is home to a host of small contemporary art galleries, as well as special events like the SoWa Open Market, First Friday’s and DIY Days. The Open Market is open every Sunday until October, and allows local artists and creators to showcase their work. Learn to make your own jewelry or bath salts on the DIY Days, or drop by on September 7, the first Friday, to see the newest exhibit openings.
The Boston Arts Festival is also right around the corner, at the gorgeous Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, on September 8-9 from 11 AM to 6:30 PM. This festival will also bring local artists and craftspeople to come together and show their wares to the community, with live music throughout the day.
If you’re interested in local art closer to Tufts, we have good news: the City of Somerville recently commissioned three new public murals, and there will be a public celebration, tour and artist talk on Thursday August 30. The walk will begin with the mural at Taco Loco at 6 PM, with a talk by artist David Zayas, and will end with a celebration at Ola Café, the home of a second mural by artist Angurria. Come for the art, and stay for the live Brazilian music by the local band Grooversity.
Film: Movie Nights and Series
Open-air film screenings are a summer staple, so take advantage while the weather’s still warm! East Somerville Main Streets is putting on another “Movie Night in the Park” at 7 PM on August 31, at Chuckie Harris Park. Instead of one movie, this Movie Night will be a series of animated shorts, from countries diverse as South Korea, Iran and Bulgaria. If you’re more interested in a traditional movie in the park, Cambridge Crossing is screening a mystery movie (which promises some ark-raiding, so make of that what you will) at 7 PM, in The Commons of Cambridge Crossing.
Also in Cambridge, the historic Brattle Theater will begin one of its many film repertory series, “A Tribute to Robby Müller,” on September 5 through September 12. The famed cinematographer passed away this summer, and the Brattle will honor him by screening his classics, many in 35 mm film. For theatrical fun closer to campus, the Somerville Theater will show the premiere of “Sweeny Killing Sweeny”(2018), a “gritty fantasy” about Boston character, culture and the importance of following our dreams. The premiere will screen on September 11 at 8 PM, to be followed by a short panel with the writer and director.
Fine Arts: Summer-Fall at the Museums
The August-September time frame is a tough one for museums, as many summer exhibitions are coming to a close. The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is no exception; the fabulous “Mark Rothko: Reflection” exhibit (which the Daily rated a 4.5/5) will be leaving September 3rd, so make sure to catch it before it closes. Across the city, the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) is showing two of their stunning summer exhibits, “We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85” and “Arthur Jafa: Love is the Message, The Message is Death” until September 30. The ICA is also known for their “free Thursdays” as well as their new ICA Watershed, which just premiered this July. The Watershed is an external gallery accessible only by a ferry ride, which is provided free by the ICA with general admission. This Watershed season, which runs until October, will showcase an immersive installation by Diana Thater. Don’t forget Tufts IDs for reduced (or free) admission!
Finally, the Tufts University Art Gallery (which is free and open for all) opens its fall semester exhibits on August 29 at the Aidekman Arts Center. Many students attend Tufts without ever seeing the galleries, or even knowing they exist, so be sure to check out these shows before the semester gets chaotic. The current main exhibit is titled “States of Freedom: The Figure in Flux” in conjunction with “Expressions Unbound: American Outsider Art from the Andrew and Linda Safran Collection.” It collects pieces from the Tufts Museum’s considerable permanent collection that provide context for the “States of Freedom” exhibit upstairs. The main show is flanked by “ARTIST RESPONSE: Election,” a video installation on the Media Wall, as well as “TuftsPUBLIC: Wave Farm” in the Remis Sculpture Court.