What to Do During ArtWeek Boston 2015

ArtWeek's in bloom with more than 125 events all over town, including darkwave cabaret, Poe tours, and Pulp Fiction dinners.

Jaggery will perform at the MFA on May 1 / Courtesy photo by Matt Samolis.

Jaggery will perform at the MFA on May 1. / Courtesy photo by Matt Samolis

Hibernation time is officially over; this is the season for Boston’s brain trust to emerge from their maker-caves and barrage the city with sky-spanning sculptures, absurd opera, monster-filled fiction, and culinary love letters to gory cult cinema classics.

From May 1-10, ArtWeek Boston returns for its spring 2015 installment with more than 125 events all over town. Out of this joyous art explosion, we’ve plucked a few choice offerings for you—one for each day of ArtWeek.


Jaggery Presents: The Beautiful and the Grotesque: Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci

In the MFA’s “Leonardo da Vinci and the Idea of Beauty,” drawings of porcelain-faced angels share gallery space with the gnarled faces of old men—all examples of the Renaissance master’s concept of ideal beauty. And it’s the kind of juxtaposition that comes naturally to avant-chamber-rock band Jaggery, whose description-defying music combines heavenly harp sounds and singer Mali Sastri’s ethereal voice with strange time signatures and disturbing lyrics. Drawing on the MFA exhibit, Jaggery bring their darkwave cabaret act to Remis Auditorium this Friday.

$25, May 1, 7:30-9:30 p.m., Harry and Mildred Remis Auditorium (Auditorium 161), Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston.

Edgar Allan Poe

Poe, up close and personal. / Photo by Steve Annear

The Raven’s Trail: A Walking Tour of Poe’s Boston

If anyone could be described as having a love-hate relationship with Boston, it’s Edgar Allan Poe. Boston is his birthplace, and yet its literary scene brutally rejected him. (Ralph Waldo Emerson dismissed him as a “jingle man.”) For a more detailed look at Poe’s complicated history with Boston, join this weekend’s walking tour.

$15, May 2, 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., meet in front of Milner Hotel, 78 Charles St., Boston.


Rendering courtesy of Janet Echelman for “Boston Shawling.”

Echelman Sculpture Installation Talk and Tour

Starting today, Brookline artist Janet Echelman will be textile-bombing the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway with a 390-foot-high woven sculpture that “will be tethered to three skyscrapers and span the length of two football fields.” And you can watch her set it up! On May 3, join the Greenway’s Charlie McCabe for a talk during the sculpture installation, estimated to take roughly 14 hours.

Free, May 3, 10 a.m., Rose F. Kennedy Greenway, Atlantic Ave. and Oliver St., Boston.

Berklee Silent Film Orchestra presents The Last Laugh

For something with the word “laugh” in the title, this silent film is about as tragic as they come, were it not for—SPOILER ALERT—the abruptly happy ending. And this week, the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra breathes new life into F. W. Murnau’s 1924 masterpiece—in which a callous hotelier’s casually destroys his employee’s livelihood—with a live original score at the Coolidge.

$20, May 4, 7 p.m., Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline.

“Music in Motion” Performance and Talk Back

Juventas New Music Ensemble teams up with Puppet Showplace Theater for “a journey through 100 years of modern music.” On tap: Music from 20th-century avant-garde composer Erik Satie; Cathy Berberian’s “Stripsody” (a madcap rhapsody of onomatopoeia sounds taken from comic strips); and “Nasenflügeltanz” (“Wings of the Nose Dance”) from Karlheinz Stockhausen’s bizarre kinetic opera, in which the players are arranged in the shape of a winking, twitching face. And just in case the past isn’t weird enough for you: For a glimpse of the future, they’re also premiering a piece performed by robotic instruments.

$20, $10 for students and ArtWeek discount tickets, May 5, 7:30 p.m., Club Oberon, 2 Arrow St., Cambridge.

Previewing Revue with Urbanity Dance

Urbanity Dance is putting on some of the most exciting dance performances in Boston these days. They’ve got plenty more up their leotard sleeves this year—and during ArtWeek, they’re giving a select few the opportunity to see it. On May 6, you’re invited to “meet the company, watch the creation process, and see what no one else will until June.”

Free, May 6, 12-1 p.m., Urbanity Dance, 1180 Washington St., #100, Boston.

ArtsEmerson Preview

Poster for ArtsEmerson 2015/2016 Season Preview. / Courtesy photo

ArtsEmerson’s 2015/16 Season Preview

So far this year, ArtsEmerson has given us Isabella Rossellini’s Green Porno, the hypnotic noir piece Needles and Opium, and a South African take on The Magic Flute. What’s next? “We’ll experience diverse cultures, multiple languages and unexpected musical forms; we’ll crack open the classics, travel to new lands and even battle space aliens.” We’re so there. Tonight, they’re hosting a special open house, complete with sneak peek preview performances.

Free, May 7, 6:30 p.m., Paramount Center, Studio 7, 559 Washington St., Boston.

Fork & Tune Presents: Pulp Fiction

For their “Fork & Tune” series, Treats on Washington chooses a pop-culturally significant album, and creates a four-course meal around the music. Their latest installment is a tribute to the soundtrack for Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. Highlights include (yes) a Royale with Cheese and, for dessert, a Shot of Adrenaline: a vanilla Coke snow cone soaked in Sailor Jerry.

$40, May 8-9, 7 p.m., Treats on Washington, 379 Washington St., Brighton.

Art Workshops + Sam Adams Tour

After beholding all this creative splendor, you’re no doubt itching to make something yourself. If so, Stonybrook Fine Arts is about to make your DIY dreams come true. Try your hand at one of their workshops in aluminum casting, jewelry making, or MIG welding. And after an afternoon of playing with molten metal, treat yourself to a cold brew (and brewery tour) at Stonybrook’s JP neighbor, the Samuel Adams Brewery.

$50, May 9, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Stonybrook Fine Arts, 24 Porter St., Boston.

Ascii Flower's

Ascii Flower’s “Weird, Fantastic, & Sublime.” / Poster art by Ashley Almeida

Weird, Fantastic & Sublime

Presented by Ascii Flower, this night of speculative fiction promises a brain-tingling journey through strange and fantastic lands. “I’m interested in curating shows around a particular mood or perspective, that can both bring creators from different corners of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and weird lit together, and also give audiences a dense and intimate dose of that over-arching feeling,” says Ascii Flower’s Kelsey Jarboe. In this case, the theme that emerged was monstrosity: “Being a monster by choice, being made into a monster by others, fighting monsters, seeing monstrosity in the mundane, and generally struggling or thriving with transformation and power.” Have no fear; writer K. Tempest Bradford will serve as our guide through these parallel worlds.

$15, May 10, 8 p.m., Oberon, 2 Arrow St., Cambridge.