Everybody get together

‘Boston Young Contemporaries’ at 808 Gallery, ‘Big Bugs’ at Garden in the Woods, and the 10th Annual Lantern Festival at Forest Hills Cemetery
By RANDI HOPKINS  |  July 8, 2008
Sean M. Johnson (SMFA), Beard Washing

“Boston Young Contemporaries” at 808 Gallery, 808 Comm Ave, Boston | July 18-August 22; opening reception July 18: 6-9 pm | 281.413.4518

“David Rogers’ Big Bugs” at New England Wild Flower Society, Garden in the Woods, 180 Hemenway Road, Framingham | July 12–October 31 | 508.877.7630

“10th Annual Lantern Festival” at Forest Hills Cemetery, 95 Forest Hills Ave, Jamaica Plain | July 17, 6-9 pm | Raindate: July 24 | 617.524.0128

The 808 Gallery is a BIG space to fill. The vast, marble-lined former Peter Fuller Cadillac showroom was acquired by Boston University in the late 1970s, and it now serves as the site of BU’s graduate-painting thesis exhibition each spring, as well as hosting other exhibitions organized by BU’s School of Visual Arts. It’s a challenging space to look at art in, with long walls that seem to go on and on, and a distracting glare from the big windows on Comm Ave. But it’s a great space in which to fête new art by newcomers. And that’s just what’s on the bill on July 18, from 6 to 9 pm, when the third annual juried exhibit of work from New England area Masters of Fine Arts programs known as the “BOSTON YOUNG CONTEMPORARIES” opens, kicking off with a live performance by DJ Ari Joseph (think bossa nova), edible food sculpture, and an award ceremony and raffle.

This year’s exhibit has 94 artists showing 159 works of painting, sculpture, photography, video, printmaking, and installation art selected by jurors Roger White, Jackie Gendel, and Tom McGrath (themselves interesting young artists). The exhibition is entirely student-run; participants this year attend MFA programs at institutions including the Art Institute of Boston, Brandeis, BU, MassArt, the Museum School, RISD, UMass-Amherst and -Dartmouth, and UNH. Join the crowd at the opening (last year’s drew more than 500 attendees) or drop by during the run — there will be a lot to look at.

If you prefer your art viewing experience to involve sunscreen and insect repellent, head for “DAVID ROGERS’ BIG BUGS” at the Garden in the Woods in Framingham. This will be the only New England appearance for the popular mega-bugs, which were last seen here in 2004. Rogers makes great use of the setting (which stretches across 45 acres and boasts 1500 varieties of native plants), employing his deft way with wood to create 13 dinosaur-scaled representations of bugs that’ll include an 18-foot, 1200-pound praying mantis. The exhibit opens on July 12 with a family-friendly day of activities and live music by the Beatles tribute band Help! Over the coming months, a different bug will be spotlit each weekend, from ladybugs (July 19-20) to ants (August 9-10) and daddy longlegs (September 13-14).

The lush Victorian landscape of Forest Hills Cemetery is the setting for the “10TH ANNUAL LANTERN FESTIVAL” on July 17, from 6 to 9 pm, when visitors will gather to picnic and make paper lanterns that, as night begins to fall, will be set afloat on a small lake holding messages for “the other side.” The ritual is based on the traditional Japanese bon festival, and the mood of the evening will be enhanced by performers including gospel singer Ron Murphy and Master Tsuji’s Samurai Taiko Drummers.

On the Web
“Boston Young Contemporaries”: www.bostonyoungcontemporaries.com
New England Wild Flower Society: www.newenglandwild.org
Forest Hills Cemetery: www.foresthillstrust.org

Related: Dead Alive, Photos: 12th Annual Lantern Festival, Fall Art Preview: Heavy construction, More more >
  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Culture and Lifestyle, The Beatles, Nature and the Environment,  More more >
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