Planning a Boston art world re-introduction

With the big move from New York to Boston just around the corner, I’ve been compiling a mental list of sites to explore upon arrival. Sure, I grew up in Boston, visited and took classes at the MFA, browsed Newbury Street’s galleries…but I have a feeling things have changed in the last 12 years. So it’s time for a Boston Art Re-Introduction. Here are a few spots I’ve come across in my research that I plan on checking out – and, of course, sharing here.

ArtBar – No, it’s not a museum and not high culture – but the concept is very alluring and the ambiance seems great. For months now, I’ve been contemplating doing a story on Boston businesses that support the arts in a variety of ways. If I pull it off, this venue is almost certain to make the cut. Situated in Cambridge, and apparently overlooking the Charles, “ArtBar is a warm, intimate retreat for food and art lovers” that “boasts stellar selections from the hotel’s world-class art collection while the restaurant features innovative cuisine, a well curated wine list and art themed specialty cocktails.” It also happens to be part of Restaurant Week Boston (March 6-11, 2011 | March 13-18, 2011) – which makes it officially impossible to not visit soon.

Mark Bradford’s show at Institute of Contemporary Art – I missed the ICA’s big opening and still haven’t yet visited the modern structure, but this show, running til March 13th, seems like an excellent place to start.

SOWA Arts District Galleries – Until recently, even the South End was a mystery to me. I’d been up and down Tremont Street a few times, but like many Boston-area-dwellers, rarely ventured past the Back Bay/South End line. So I was surprised to learn about the astonishing number of galleries in the SOWA (South of Washington) area. If the Manhattan-sounding name heralds similar creative diversity and wealth, I’m all eyes. A gallery hop is booked for March! For a list of galleries, you can visit this page. The Broomfield Gallery, for one, looks full of promise.

American Repertory Theater’s “The Donkey Show” – I haven’t written about much theater here yet, but this is Art Wrap after all, and no creative forms are to be excluded. It’s been a long time since I visited A.R.T., and I’m very curious where the company has taken its routine in the last decade. Could it be…the farm? Every Saturday night, the Cambridge venue hosts The Donkey Show. Expect a zoo, but not of the usual variety. The show promises “the ultimate disco experience—a crazy circus of mirror balls and feathered divas, of roller skaters and hustle queens. Come party on the dance floor to all the 70s disco hits you know by heart as the show unfolds around you.”


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