Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism.
A community-lighting ceremony with an artist-designed menorah and an immersive blacklight installation are two highlights of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA)’s free Hanukkah celebration taking place this Wednesday, December 18. The museum’s sixth annual edition of the Festival of Lights also features musical performances and a wealth of activities for children, including a Hanukkah button-making workshop and a storytime presented in English and Russian. Organized along with the Jewish Arts Collaborative and the Combined Jewish Philanthropies organization, it is said to be the city’s largest Hanukkah community celebration.
The museum commissions a contemporary artist to design a new, large-scale menorah for the festival every year. For her menorah, titled “Persist and Rise from Ashes,” artist Caron Tabb printed poems and citations on fabrics and illuminated them to create sculptural flames. Tabb selected a number of texts, including a quote by Nelson Mandela, that connect the story of Hanukkah and Jewish people’s fight for freedom to modern-day struggles for justice and equality.
Tova Speter’s interactive blacklight installation “Brighter Beyond,” which the artist describes as “a giant glowing exhibit,” invites visitors to be a part of the work by contributing their light to the piece. Speter leads art workshops in local schools, and the installation will showcase artworks created by more than 100 students.
The festival is also an opportunity to explore MFA’s trove of Judaica and Jewish art, one of the museum’s newest collecting areas that has become a growing focus since 2013. Objects from the collection on view now include a delicate, flower-inspired Hanukkah lamp by contemporary sculptor and jeweler Linda Threadgill and a luxurious oil on panel portrait by the Hungarian painter of Jewish life and culture Isidor Kaufmann.
Free admission to the museum begins at 4pm on Wednesday. More details and a schedule of the festival’s programs can be found here.
Here We Are! is an expansive exhibition exploring the role of women in furniture design, fashion design, industrial design, and interior design.
The photograph of Mahal, taken in 1872 while she was interned and dispossessed, raises questions of consent.
Large-scale installations by artist and adobera Joanna Keane Lopez and olfactory-acoustic sculptures by Oswaldo Maciá will be on view starting October 1.
Weems’s essay is excerpted from Ways of Hearing: Reflections on Music in 26 Pieces.
Freelance writer Rona Akbari partnered with artist Aishwarya Srivastava for a print sale fundraiser to support Afghan nationals who are facing illness and starvation.
Over 125 artist studios, galleries, and exhibition spaces open their doors to the public for this year’s Jersey City Art and Studio Tour, taking place from September 30 through October 3.