Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) held the opening of MassArt Art Museum (MAAM), Boston’s newest, free contemporary art museum this past weekend. MAAM will offer an accessible contemporary art experience for all, partnering with emerging and established artists to bring diverse perspectives to Boston. As a teaching museum, MAAM will educate MassArt students about the professional museum field and bring inspirational and aspirational exhibitions to campus.
After extensive renovations, MAAM opened in the space formerly known as the Bakalar & Paine Galleries at the heart of MassArt‘s campus on the Avenue of the Arts. MAAM will be a kunsthalle, or non-collecting museum, showing temporary exhibitions that feature the work of emerging and established artists to bring fresh, diverse perspectives to Boston. As MassArt’s teaching museum, MAAM will be a resource for MassArt students and faculty, educating students about contemporary art, partnering with faculty to support the curriculum, and preparing students for careers in the museum field. As an extension of the College’s public mission, the Museum will also be a vital resource to the community, offering a pathway to education in the arts and free, unique educational programming to Boston-area public schools and community groups. Always free, MAAM will be open year-round to the public. (To learn more visit maam.massart.edu.)
MAAM’s inaugural exhibitions will feature the U.S. solo premiere of internationally-renowned artist Joana Vasconceles; a group exhibition titled Game Changers: Video Games & Contemporary Art; and a site-specific installation by artist duo Ghost of a Dream.
Joana Vasconcelos: Valkyrie Mumbet (On View: February 22 – August 2, 2020)
To mark the grand opening of MAAM, Vasconcelos’ new Valkyrie commission, Valkyrie Mumbet, honors a courageous American – Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman – the first woman of African descent to sue for her freedom in Massachusetts and win, starting the chain of events that helped make slavery illegal in Massachusetts. The work is tailored to fit exclusively in the MAAM space, highlighting the myriad possibilities of the new gallery’s 37 foot high ceiling and 40 foot wide second level art viewing balcony. These distinctive architectural attributes will allow visitors to see the work from different vantage points – beneath the sculpture from the gallery floor, and from over 20 feet high from the balcony.
Game Changers: Video Games & Contemporary Art (On View: February 22 – April 19, 2020)
The Game Changers: Video Games & Contemporary Art exhibition features works by a group of artists (Paloma Dawkins, Cao Fei, Tracey Fullerton, Dan Hernandez, Nyamakop, MassArt professor Juan Obando, Momo Pixel, Skawennati and Brent Watanabe) who are creating at the confluence of contemporary art and video games.
Ghost Of A Dream: Yesterday Is Here (On View: February 22, 2020 – February 28, 2021)
For the grand opening of the MassArt Art Museum (MAAM), artist collective Ghost of a Dream will transform the new lobby with a site-specific installation titled Yesterday is Here. Ghost of a Dream‘s artwork centers on people’s hopes and dreams, and is made from the ephemera they create in pursuit of those aspirations. In Yesterday is Here, the collective uses the past to imagine a new future for the Museum; the duo has cut up, combined, and spliced together images from over 30 years of exhibition catalogs and announcements from the MassArt Bakalar & Paine Galleries, to create a kaleidoscopic look through the history of the Galleries and create an experience that speaks to MAAM’s future.
“MAAM strives to showcase artists at all stages of their careers – from emerging to established – as well as diverse contemporary art practices,” said Lisa Tung, Executive Director of the museum. “MAAM is committed to educating and empowering the next generation of artists, both on campus and throughout the world.”
Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) is a public, independent institution that prepares artists, designers, and educators to shape communities, economies, and cultures for the common good. Since 1873, MassArt has built a legacy of leadership as the first freestanding public college of art and design in the country, and the nation’s first art school to grant a degree. MassArt offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate degrees in art, design, and art education, taught by world-class faculty.