The night celebrated the opening of the latest exhibit to be showcased at the McMullen: Indian Ocean Current: Six Artistic Narratives. The show displays the work of six artists from across the Indian Ocean region: Shiraz Bayjoo, Nicholas Hlobo, Shilpa Gupta, Wangechi Mutu, Penny Siopis, and Hajra Waheed. Their work explores the history and culture of the region, and many of their pieces reflect the catastrophic effects of climate change both locally and throughout the world at large.
The artistic works are accompanied by informative pieces explaining the definition and impacts of climate change. The decision to make the museum walk-through experience both cultural and informative is essential to the viewer’s complete understanding of the artists’ backgrounds and contemporary concerns. It brings greater understanding to the pieces, and it makes the latest exhibit at the McMullen all the more important for people to go to see for themselves, especially in today’s divisive political climate.
Music from student-run groups echoed through the halls of the museum, welcoming its newcomers while serving as the perfect backdrop for those happily wandering from room to room to explore the evening’s offerings. The Sharps, BC Dynamics, B.E.A.T.S., Music Guild, and Jammin’ Toast all performed throughout the evening.
Rooms contained different crafts that students could participate in. Friend groups happily huddled together to construct pieces that reflected the overarching environmentally conscious theme of the night. One craft, handmade jellyfish lamps, will certainly add a new dynamic to the multicolored atmosphere of the Walsh windows at night. Some students designed climate action pins, showcasing both their creativity and political drive all in one backpack-enhancing activity.
The night was planned by the student workers of the McMullen Museum of Art, which explains how the event managed to appeal to other students so well. Art After Dark was a night for students by students, an idea that parallels one of the direct mottos of the museum itself: “It’s your museum. Own it.”
Art After Dark served as a vital reminder of the fact that BC students should take advantage of their access to art and exhibitions that reflect contemporary themes more often. The night did more than simply showcase the work of great artists—it reflected the artistic interests and environmental concerns of BC students.
Featured Image by Maggie DiPatri / For the Heights