MassArt opens new South End gallery
In early May, Massachusetts College of Art and Design opened a new physical gallery space at 460 Harrison Ave. in Boston’s South End. In its pilot year, the gallery will show thesis work of the school’s Master of Fine Arts students as well as work from the design program, curatorial projects, alumni exhibitions, student and faculty curated shows, and collaborative exhibitions with community partners.
“As the first public college of art and design in the nation, MassArt is committed to being part of the public conversation, so it feels natural to launch a new venture off campus in the heart of the art and design district,” said Lucinda Bliss, Dean of Graduate Studies at MassArt, referring to the proliferation of art galleries in the area south of Washington Street dubbed “SoWa.”
The presentation of students’ work has always been a key component of the MassArt curriculum. Expanding outside of the campus gives students the opportunity to show their work in a public setting. The Harrison Avenue arts district is home to more than two dozen galleries featuring local and international work and has become a hub of art events and activity.
The current exhibition, “MFA Thesis Show 2021,” highlights works from the photography, film/video, and 2D fine arts programs by eight artists: Salman Farhadi; Sebastian Gonzalez Quintero; Sarah Hull; Yangfan Luo; Jesus Pizarro; Yang Sun; Madison Suniga ;and Ronghao Zhang. The multimedia presentation brings a new flavor to the Harrison Avenue galleries, many of which typically focus on mediums like painting, sculpture, photography and textiles.
Educational opportunities at the MassArt x SoWa gallery will spread far beyond displaying artwork. Students and faculty can experience curatorial opportunities, and students will operate the gallery, learning the ins and outs of both the public-facing roles and the back-end operations of preparing, designing and installing exhibitions and marketing them to the Greater Boston community. Off-campus and surrounded by a powerful group of galleries and artists, this real-world experience is invaluable as students prepare to embark on their next artistic chapters.
“Our role in graduate studies is to provide our students with the tools for building and sustaining a career in art and design, and to help them build networks that support a lifelong commitment to their practice,” says Bliss. “MassArt x SoWa is an extension of MassArt’s mission to prepare artists, designers and educators of diverse backgrounds to shape communities, economies and cultures for the common good.”
Visitors can view the exhibition at MassArt x SoWa in person Wednesday–Saturday, from 11 a.m.–6 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m.–4 p.m. and during monthly First Friday celebrations. The show is also viewable online.