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Springtime at MoCA

by E.S. Cormac on December 12, 2013


MASS MoCA unveiled their spring schedule featuring a variety of new exhibits, musicians, performing artists and even new events for kids on Dec. 4 to a packed crowd in the Hunter Center at the museum’s campus in North Adams, Mass.

Patkin’s sculpture Don Quixote greats visitors to The Wandering Veil. Photo by E.S. Cormac

Museum director Joseph C. Thompson started the event off with a look at upcoming exhibits. The spring season begins with a survey of Israeli-born artist Izhahar Patkin; titled The Wandering Veil, it will showcase over 30 years of the artist’s work. The exhibit is currently open and the reception is Jan. 18 between 3 and 5 PM. Patkin collaborated with Kashmiri-American poet Agha Shahid Ali on The Wandering Veil, and will be reading selections from the poet’s work alongside Agha Iqal Ali, Shahid Ali’s brother on April 24.

Darren Waterson’s Uncertain Beauty opens on March 8 and features Filthy Lucre, Waterson’s contemporary take on James McNeill Whistler’s 1876 masterpiece, Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room. The opening reception for Waterson’s 1:1 scale recreation is March 29.

Not all of the artwork featured this spring is static. Six artists collaborated using 16 MM and 35MM film and their work will be projected throughout the gallery in an exhibit titled The Dying of the Light: Film as Medium and Metaphor. Featuring Lisa Oppenheim and Simon Starling, this exhibit promises to take people back into the projector booth.

The spring music schedule features a variety of artists. Reggae legends Burning Spear take the stage on Feb. 15. The bassist for Phish will be jamming with his own band when Mike Gordon plays his five-string ax on April 5 in what the museum promises will turn the Hunter Center in jam central. From five strings to one, MASS MoCA is bringing Brushy One String to the Hunter Center on Jan. 11. Brushy One String stole the show with his huge soulful voice and unique one string guitar playing during this year’s New Orleans Jazz Festival. The Step Kids are also coming to the museum in January, and the eclectic trio have earned the attention of Pitchfork who called the band, “a music nerd’s romp through high-fidelity magic.”

MASS MoCA is also bringing back their dance parties this spring, but with a twist . . . well, a swing. Brain Cloud, a New York City based seven-piece western swing band will play during the Feb. 1 dance party. Tickets come with free swing lessons.

The museum also is presenting a series of documentary films beginning on Jan. 20 with 20 Feet From Stardom, a look into the lives of the anonymous backup singers who make the songs you love hits.

MASS MoCA is also bringing plenty of fun for the kids this spring including several events that let kids become artists. Need a break from their break? How about the December Break for Art on Jan. 26-27 and 30-31. Camp Utopia is being offered Feb. 17-21, and just in time for the nice weather the museum has Spring Art Detox on April 21, 23 and 25. Just think of all the cool art your children can bring home.