As the sun set on one of the first warm spring days of the year, the McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College was just beginning its Art After Dark: St. Patrick’s Day Celebration event. The event, hosted on March 18, offered many ways to celebrate Irish culture and enjoy art.
At the entrance to the museum, a list was posted with all of the different activities, including photo printing and film screenings available to visiting students. Student staff members of the museum greeted guests at the door and handed out papers with the instructions for a scavenger hunt that was taking place on the second and third floors.
The event gave students an opportunity to get into the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day and to enjoy the McMullen Museum. The different activities encouraged people to talk and to get to know one another while enjoying both the museum and each other’s company.
On the first floor, traditional and modern Irish music played, including songs such as “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” by Dropkick Murphys and “Zombie” by The Cranberries. The film Sing Street and episodes of the television show Derry Girls were playing in a room where visitors could make their own St. Brigid’s crosses, which are said to protect homes from harm, according to Irish tradition.
Further down the hall, guests could gather and talk while enjoying Irish canapés, including Irish soda bread, corned beef sliders, bacon and leek–stuffed mini potatoes, and pea mint and goat cheese crostini.
Next to the room where a gaggle of students stood to chat and munch on festive treats was the autoportrait—also known as a self-portrait—studio. Guests could have their photo taken in front of a green screen with three possible backgrounds from the exhibit Martin Parr: Time and Place. Visitors could take the printed photos home or use them in the photo transfer activity happening in an adjacent room.
Members of the BC Photography Club and McMullen staff ran the photo transfer activity, teaching visitors how to transfer a printed photo to cloth. Visitors had the option of using their autoportrait or pre-printed photos of locations at BC, including the McMullen Museum and Gasson Hall.
On the second and third floors, visitors could take part in the scavenger hunt, play the card game Irish 25, and enjoy Parr’s photography. From 1979 to 2019, Parr built up an extensive collection of photographs of Ireland, tracking the modernization of the country over the years. Friday’s event gave BC students the opportunity to examine his photographs while celebrating the country he spent years capturing with his camera.
Featured Image by Nicole Vagra / Heights Editor