Taking Advantage of Boston’s Art Scene

Whether you are an art connoisseur or not, Boston’s art museums are a must see. Beautiful exhibitions are scattered all throughout the city and admission is free or discounted for all of them if you are an Emerson student! Here is a quick look at some of the great things these museums have to offer:

Museum of Fine Arts

Admission: Free with your Emerson ID

Must see: Egyptian Art Exhibit

One piece of advice: Plan to spend an entire day at the MFA…maybe even two. The MFA is the most classic museum experience on this list, showcasing a wide variety of artistic styles and classic paintings from different time periods. This museum offers art collections from all across the world to really put into perspective the vast array of artistic styles that exist. There are also photography exhibits, prints, drawings, musical instruments, and jewelry scattered throughout the museum.

It can be overwhelming how much content is inside the MFA, but each room deserves as much attention as the last.

Pottery at the MFA. Credit: Flickr.com

For all sports fans looking for something interesting…there is an exhibition all about David Ortiz that is open from now until September 4th. Tickets must be bought to view this gallery, but anything is worth it for Big Papi, right? Ortiz’s 2013 World Series MVP ring will also be on display, so get a close look while you can!

A rainy day is best spent at the Museum of Fine Arts, or multiple rainy days in a row!

 

ICA – Institute of Contemporary Art

Admission: Student discount with ID

Must See: Nari Ward: Sun Splashed

The ICA is a great place for college students to explore. The exhibits are fun, modern, and sometimes interactive. Each exhibit is important to view, many often presenting social and political issues in unique mediums.

This museum really makes you think about what you are seeing and how it can be interpreted to convey a bigger message. There is also a new exhibit by Dana Schutz being put up right now, set to open July 26th…even more new art to check out!!

ICA at night. Credit: Flickr.com

The large glass building overlooking Boston Harbor could not be more picturesque if it tried, and you could easily spend a whole day enjoying the incredible views. Aside from the amazing art, the ICA also holds outdoor concerts every Friday in July and August. These fun outdoor events feature new DJ’s every week and certain themed events to keep things new and interesting. The ICA always keeps me guessing, and I cannot wait to see what fun thing comes out next.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Admission: Student discount with ID (or free if your name is Isabella!)

Must See: Portrait of Isabella Stewart Gardner.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is like something out of a movie. The minute you step inside the museum it feels like you are taken back in time, admiring all of the beautiful paintings and scenery. The inner courtyard is breathtaking, and visible from every angle of the museum.

What makes this museum unique is that Isabella Stewart Gardner actually used to reside in the building before it turned into a museum, and still resembles a home in many ways. The tall ceilings and wooden floors add a homey feel to the artwork which is something you do not see everyday.

I highly recommend reading up on the Gardner heist before visiting, as it adds excitement and a bit of spookiness to your visit.

A great addition to the museum is the modern wing, which is the only part of the museum with changing exhibits. Set aside from the original building, this modern room showcases beautiful artwork and sculptures to add a modern twist. Next to the modern room is also the Gardner Museum’s incredible concert hall, which must be seen in person to truly admire. Isabella Stewart Gardner had a passion for music and this hall keeps her spirit alive in a beautiful space. The concert schedule and ticket options can be found on the museum’s website.

 

The Museum of Bad Art

Admission: Free museum passes can be requested.

Must See: “Dog” By: Unknown

After you have admired all of the famous pieces in the previously listed places…why not lighten the mood with this fun museum?? The MOBA gallery in Somerville is a private institution that is committed to celebrating bad art. Located in the basement of a theater, it is not the most glamorous of exhibits. That being said, it is definitely a memorable experience. It is a one of a kind museum visit and every piece of art is sure to make you chuckle.

Can’t get enough of the bad art? Have no fear, there is now a book available for purchase, “The Museum of Bad Art: Masterworks,” that showcases the worst of the worst, bottom of the barrel pieces of artwork.

Some pieces imitate famous works like the Mona Lisa, and with others it can be hard to decipher what is going on at all…

Quirky and humorous, the MOBA is Boston museum fun for all ages and a great way to lighten the mood after viewing maybe one too many gorey war depictions.

I hope this master list of Boston museum’s inspires you to view some new places and some very cool art.

 

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Date Ideas to Spark Up Your Summer

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The summer is a perfect time for fun dates. So many opportunities arise that couples just can’t do during the chillier months. Especially after a long year of classes and work, the summer months allow couples to reignite the spark that may have been lost during the year by going out and taking advantage of these special activities. The ability to create the most memories is important during these sweltering hot days, and there are so many adventures that can help create them, so why not spend it with the one you love?

Whether you have been in your relationship for a long time or are just starting one, here are some fun date ideas to inspire your summer spark.

1. Have A Picnic

Between our phones and computers, there seems to be hardly any time spent with your significant other or love interest without looking at a screen. Having a picnic allows you to change timgreshis. Buy some sandwiches, fruit and wine and put a blanket in your car. Either plan the picnic with your lover or surprise them! The most important part about the picnic (besides the food) is probably the location. You want to find a place that is calm and beautiful, and preferably in nature. Of course, this is “weather allowing,” so be sure to check your local weather station before you leave the house for the day. Besides the romantic scenery and having the chance to just be with your date, it also allows you to talk about the real stuff. It will most likely be a fun memory that you and your “person” will share, and will also give both of you a chance to find out more about one another no matter how long or short you have been dating.

2. Dress Up

After high school, there aren’t many times that one gets to dress up. Think about it, you have formals,
imagessoph hop, homecoming, junior prom and then senior prom. In college, you pretty much have an occasional formal, but it just doesn’t feel the same as they did in high school. Plan a date night that gives you and your boyfriend or girlfriend the chance to “clean up.” Take them to a nice dinner at a restaurant that you have both been meaning to try, or even one that neither of you had a clue about! Besides the fact that it’s always nice to see your significant other looking their absolute best, the formality of it all helps to bring back those “first date” butterflies, and makes you realize how lucky you truly are to have that other person in your life. It sounds too cliché, I know, but it’s true.

3. Berry Picking

images-1Like most dates, this one requires a bit of research. First comes first, you need to find a farm that grows berries. Secondly, you need to find one that is in a reasonable range from where you live. So what is berry picking?  It’s pretty much the summer version of apple picking in the fall. At the farm near me, you pay a set price, depending on what kind of fruit you are picking and then take a basket and go off to your berry picking adventures. Some farms will make you pay at the end, weighing the amount of fruit you have picked, so be wary. As silly as it sounds, as a date, it can be fun. It definitely mixes things up, and can be made into a really fun day. The best thing about the date is that the farm will most likely have a ton of property to roam on which is scenically beautiful. There shouldn’t be a dull moment in the day. You can even make a competition out of it with your date by seeing who can pick the most berries. I know, it sounds nerdy, but it is probably what will happen. (Don’t judge!)

4. Drive-in Movie

Drive-ins are pretty hard to find and tend to be located in more suburban or “in the middle of Elm_Road_Drive-In_Theatrenowhere” areas. The closest one to me is about an hour away (with no traffic). However, if you look hard enough, you should be able to find one. Usually, they are much cheaper than a normal modern day movie theater and also show two movies for the price of one. Most drive-ins also provide food in order to gain funds to keep the outdoor theater open. Because of this, they tend to be pretty strict about bringing in outside food, so be sure to check with the theater before bringing a whole dinner into the screening areas with you. The one downside is that you have to have a car to not only get there, but also watch the movie. Usually, the theater will have a radio station which provides the sound for your film. So it’s pretty easy if you have a car to use, but if not, you can’t really go. Overall, the drive-in is really romantic. It makes you feel more intimate with your date than if you were stuck in a crowded theater, and also allows you to cuddle up and watch the stars. Just one fair warning – don’t forget the bug spray!

The School Year is Over, Now What?

Backpack

The end of the school year means flying or driving back to your hometown for a few months of relative downtime. After exams, packing, storage and planning for upcoming semesters, summer break offers a sweet relief. Students have only a short time until the inevitable return to college life.

Many people have plans over the summer. Some work at a full or part-time job to earn some money. Others have elaborate and detailed plans to travel across the country with their friends. Family vacations are also popular during the summer months.

However, there is a vast majority who do not have distinct plans for their break. After the speedy highway of spring semester, you race faster and faster only to get off at the exit and have nowhere to go. So, the question becomes: now what should you do?

With no classes, no job, no vacation plans, the world is your oyster. However, sometimes too much freedom and uncertainty leaves you sitting alone and shrugging your shoulders.

Here are some ideas on how to spend your summer without emptying a wallet that’s not getting filled anytime soon.

Organize those photos that are just sitting on your computer taking up valuable space, but aren’t being looked at or appreciated.

Separate those summer and winter clothes that are piled up in your room. You know that you’re not going wear those big sweaters until you go back to Boston.

Read those books that you told yourself you’d finish when you had the time. You kept procrastinating saying, “I’ll have time in the summer” Well, it’s summer.

Catch up on those shows your friends still can’t believe you haven’t watched yet.

Just because you don’t have a job, doesn’t mean you’re not working. Start a blog or contribute to Atlas Magazine’s. Work on that script, screenplay or novel. Posting on your Twitter or Tumblr doesn’t count.

Catch up with some hometown friends who, let’s be honest, you haven’t talked to since winter break (or before that).

Get those new songs on your iPod. Because when was the last time you synced your phone to your computer?

See that new movie that came out that everyone is talking about. Are you really going to wait until it comes out on DVD?

Summer cleaning, anyone? Cleaning, organizing and sanitizing may seem like a job for Cinderella pre-ball, but if you crank up the tunes and do some dusting, you’ll feel good, make your space look pretty and make your mother happy.

You realize that at home, food is not made ready like in Dining Halls or cafes. Since you don’t want to look like you can’t take care of yourself, try cooking some food. Try some new recipes. Even better: you could bake some cookies and eat those!

Get some exercise. Try to lose that college weight over the summer. Because you have your mother’s kitchen as a free café, it can be easy to eat whatever your stomach desires. After coming home from college and all of the fried food it has to offer, it is seriously tempting to eat all of mom’s homemade meals. However, this is also your opportunity to eat healthier and with more variety. Now that you don’t have classes and extracurriculars as excuses, you can schedule time to exercise.

When thinking about what to do this summer, a certain Disney theme song might come to mind: “There’s a hundred and four days of summer vacation and school comes along just to end it/ So the annual problem for our generation is finding a good way to spend it.”

Disney’s “Phineas and Ferb” cartoon follows two step-brothers on their quest to do something new and exciting every day during vacation. This pursuit continues through college. We may not be building roller coasters or performing one-hit wonder hits like our friends, Phineas and Ferb, but there is still lots to be done.