Located in a refurbished industrial complex in the rolling Berkshire hills of western Massachusetts, MASS MoCA (the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) offers a summer schedule filled with a variety of exhibitions and performances.
Oh, Canada, which opened on May 26th and runs through April 1st, 2013, is the largest survey of Canadian Contemporary Art to be mounted outside of that country and features the work of over sixty artists active in all media. Curated by Denise Markonish, who spent three years crisscrossing the country in search of the artists presented here, Oh, Canada seeks to place Canadian art in the global dialogue. Visitors will also be able to view Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective, which includes 105 of the artist’s large-scale wall drawings spanning his career from 1969 until his death in 2007. The exhibit, which was organized in collaboration with the Yale University Art Gallery and the Williams College Museum of Art, was installed in 2008 and will be on view for 25 years, until 2033.
From July 12th through the 31st, MASS MoCA will also play host to the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival, offering listeners daily performances, live gallery recitals inspired by the art on view, children’s events, and more. Additionally, on Saturday, July 21st, the Bang on a Can All-Stars will return to the festival for the first time in five years to perform newly commissioned works. On July 28th, composer Steve Reich will present a six-hour concert. Refreshments will be available from local vendors, and audience members will be welcome to come and go throughout the performance.
For those interested in dance, the museum will host a performance of New York-based Zimbabwean choreographer Nora Chipaumire’s Miriam on August 25th at 8 p.m. This evening-length performance draws on Chipaumire’s own background, the icons of South African artist Miriam Makeba, and the traditional iconography of the Virgin Mary to investigate the tensions that arise between women’s private aspirations and the demands of public expectations. On September 1st, one can spend a late summer evening at the Brazilian Big Beat Dance Party, where ensemble Nation Beat will present its fusion of Brazilian maracatu drumming and New Orleans jazz.
The museum also has a number of family-friendly offerings. On July 7th and August 18th at 11 a.m., museum education staff will host Gallery Quest scavenger hunts and art studios. And opening on June 23rd and running through the summer, Curiosity will feature the work of several internationally renowned artists working with a variety of materials. The subject matter on displaydinosaurs, ninjas, cowboys, and superheroesis geared towards a younger audience. Those so inclined will be able to create their own curios in a fully equipped studio space known as the Art Cabaret.