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Fall Open House Excites Fine Art Lovers

For The Heights

Published: Sunday, October 14, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01


Allie Boras / For The Heights

Large multicolored balloons placed around the Kenmore/Fenway area led adults and children alike to the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) for its Fall Open House on Monday, Oct. 8. The day marked the 11th annual “Opening Our Doors” celebration hosted by the Fenway Alliance in Boston, where several institutions all over the area open their doors to the public for a variety of musical and cultural activities. Dressed in fall’s finest, people lined up outside the MFA to take advantage of the free admission and family-friendly exhibitions and performances. Throughout the day, the museum offered multiple interactive exhibits, tours of the museum, and special events that celebrated music and culture from around the world.

The MFA offered a large variety of family-friendly art making activities throughout the entire day. Those who attended the Rangoli Designs station were treated to a celebration of the Hindu holiday Diwali, the festival of lights. While learning about the cultural and religious importance to Rangoli, children could create their own Rangoli designs, which remain one of the oldest and most cherished traditional folk art forms in India. Other art-making activities included “Drawing in the Galleries,” a station where visitors could get drawing tips and ideas from an artist as they created their own drawing in the gallery. “Passport to the Americas” allowed people to explore the floors of the Art of the Americas wing, finding new activities and interesting facts on each floor.

Part of the celebration included performances scattered throughout the day. Special events included a performance by MuzikoMonda presented by The Boston Conservatory of Music. MuzikoMonda is an international ensemble, and the musicians are all graduates or students of The Boston Conservatory. Audience members were treated to a spectrum of music from Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, and a wide variety of instruments including marimbas, gongs, and harps. The local DJ Berbere played a set for two straight hours in the afternoon, keeping with the multicultural theme as he sampled music from Middle Eastern, African, and European underground music. Not your typical DJ, Berbere laced his samplings with his own violin playing and vocal synthesis and produced tracks akin to tribal house music. Other performances included two by the Anikai Dance Theater. The performance used a variety of dance traditions to form a “tillana—a dance of celebration” to tell the story of Ardhnarishwar, the Hindu god of dance. The performance fit in perfectly with the day, as the audience was treated to a new piece commissioned specifically by the MFA for this celebration.

The theme of Celebrations Around the World was enforced with the museum’s presentation of the Hispanic Heritage Month Short Film Festival. Many visitors to the museum came solely to see the collection of short films on display for the festival—many of the films are fresh off the festival circuit, coming from the internationally renowned Los Angeles Film Festival this summer. The films put together showcased Hispanic cinema across generations in celebration of Hispanic Heritage month, which lasts until Oct. 15.

Major exhibitions that are currently being featured in the MFA became a part of the celebration, including the Ori Gershi: History Repeating exhibit that is showing at the MFA until January. Visitors were treated to an exclusive look at several of these exhibitions and tours of the museum’s most famous collection scattered throughout the day.

Through the crowded halls of the museum, parents followed their children around eagerly with their arms full of silver embossments pasted on construction paper and handmade Rangoli designs, as they moved to the next station for more artwork to take home. While visitors were treated to interactive exhibits and iPads scattered throughout the museum to explore the museum’s collection of ancient coins, the streets and nearby buildings were likewise flooded with activities. Stands selling apple cider and crepes were on hand, as flyers led you to the exhibitions at nearby MassArt and the Gardner Museum. Children wiped chalk off their pants as they touted their self-made rabbit sculptures around the Fenway area, eager to explore the hundreds of activities put on by the Fenway Alliance. It is safe to say that the day was a success, both for the MFA and the Fenway Alliance—“perfectly refreshing” was the term that one staffer at the Museum used to describe the day where all age groups gathered outside to celebrate and appreciate art forms from all around the world.


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