Galleries and Installations to Explore this Summer in Boston
This summer, take a break from the heat and dip into Boston’s art galleries and exhibitions— or, spend a leisurely moment at one of the abundant art museums throughout the city and surrounding neighborhoods. Whether you have a short and sweet interaction or a longer period of meditation, spending time with works of art can bring joy, inspiration, peace, or (depending on what you’re viewing) a whole host of other emotions and ideas. Plus, it’s not to be forgotten that many of the city’s installations are air-conditioned, too! Make one of these galleries your personal oasis during the long days of these summer months and share your experiences with us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook by tagging @ArtsBoston.
For more, check out the ArtsBoston Calendar for an extensive look at what’s happening in your local arts scene.
In American Waters
Peabody Essex Museum, Salem MA
On display through October 3, 2021
In American Waters takes marine painting to new levels with works that explore the beauty, violence, poetry, and transformative power of the sea in American society. See how painters Georgia O’Keeffe, Amy Sherald, Kay WalkingStick, Norman Rockwell, and many more were able to use art to transport the viewer to a new sense of place and time with their expansive canvases. Plus, lean some of the intricacies and symbols used specifically in coastal paintings and seascapes.
Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, Boston MA
On display July 3 through September 6, 2021
After last year’s closures and since pivoting to serve as a food distribution site during the pandemic, East Boston’s ICA Watershed exhibits include a new immersive installation from acclaimed artist Firelei Báez that brings the viewer inside the reimagined ruins of an ancient Hatian palace. In the location’s Harbor Room, artist Stephen Hamilton explores the color indigo.
Community Arts Initiative: Patterns of Greatness
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA
On display through October 14, 2021
As part of a program intended to introduce young people ages 6 to 12 to the MFA and the art-making process, Boston-based artist Chanel Thervil has created “Patterns of Greatness.” The collaborative project involved virtual meetings with young Boston-area artists, which led to the imagination of visual patterns that represent how relationships have positive impacts on our lives. Thervil also purposefully highlights the work of contemporary artists like Keith Haring, Simone Leigh, Sammy Chong, and more who use patterns in their art, opening up the possibilities for discovery even further.
Materialized: 2020 MFA Alumni Exhibition
Massachusetts College of Art and Design at MassArt x SoWa, Boston MA
On display through July 18, 2021
At the MassArt x SoWa gallery in Boston’s SoWa district (and online), view a showcase of ten 2020 MassArt MFA alumni, across a range of media including photography, painting, sculpture, and video. See the reunion of these ten emerging artists against the backdrop of one of Boston’s most well-known places to check out art.
First Friday Open Studios
SoWa Artists Guild, Boston MA
First Friday of every month
On the first Friday of each month from 5-9 PM ET, join the SoWa Artists Guild to take a tour of artists’ open studios. You can peruse the guild’s artists page and contact the artists directly to learn when they’ll be in, or you can make discoveries of new creators you’ll get to know just by making the trip.
Midway Gallery, Boston MA
On display July 1 through August 31
In the Fort Point Channel area of the Seaport, see how Peter Schumann, founder and artistic director of the renowned Vermont-based Bread & Puppet Theater, uses a pile of discarded hotel bedsheets to paint scenes that served as a daily exercise to grapple with the issues of today’s world. This series, called “Bedsheet Mitigations,” is co-presented by the ARTSPEECH artists’ collective.
Header photo: Zhidong Zhang (MassArt MFA’20 Photography) Confessions of a Mask, 2021, archival pigment print, 35″ x 43″ x edition of 5 and 2 AP