By: Derek Anderson and Marissa Holt
Students from all over the greater Boston area crowded into the Museum of Fine Arts last Thursday to experience the free promotional event College Night. With music blasting from its entrance, the museum kicked off the night at 7p.m. and the event lasted to midnight. Upon receiving a red glow stick —instead of a ticket— as admission, students were given free reign to explore the entire museum to their hearts’ content.
Dating back to it’s original opening in 1879 when it was located in Copley Square, the MFA has been engraved into Boston’s history. With the purpose of presenting collections of preserved artwork from different cultures and eras, the MFA continues to serve the public with its exhibits and events. The present day MFA, which is located off of Huntington Ave., provides an accessible venue for people from all over to enjoy. By hostingCollege Night, the museum successfully attracts students who otherwise would not have explored the realms of art history.
The crowd at the event was enormous. Students from colleges and universities throughout Boston and beyond came to witness exhibits of artwork from all over the world. Berklee student Ryan Masscilak, 19, experienced the museum for the first time, along with many others.
“I kind of wish I could see [the museum] without all these people,” said Masscilak. “I want to come back sometime soon.”
The Musical Instruments Gallery was the first on Masscilak’s list of artwork to see.
“There’s a man playing harpsichord in the there! It’s amazing!” Masscilak exclaimed, describing the exhibit.
Masscilak spoke the truth, as there was a man playing harpsichord in the Musical Instruments Gallery. Darcy Kuronen lit up the room with an ambiance fit for the Court at Versailles with his performance on the aged instrument. The harpsichord was a piece of artwork in itself, painted and decorated in gold, grabbing students’ attention and gaining looks of admiration throughout the night.
Kuronen was not the only musician to perform for College Night. Two other acts, the band Love in Stockholm and Berklee student Liz Longley each put on shows. Love in Stockholm, a band out of Allston, Mass., with members from Boston University, performed earlier in the night in the Calderwood Courtyard of the museum. The group’s sound was a profound mix of rock, funk and blues that received better-than-average reactions from the crowd. With an energetic lead singer, and lent effects from trumpet and saxophone players, the band got students to dance and sing along.
Liz Longley performed on the opposite side of the MFA in the Bravo Restaurant, a cafe that exudes a tranquil vibe. Her set was an acoustic guitar and piano mix. The crowd was large and bustling, but immediately fell silent as soon as she began to play. The vocally driven performance was one of the many great events hosted throughout the night.
Not all the events, however, were art driven. A dance party was organized later in the night as well as a hula-hooping event, which took place by the contemporary art exhibit with music blasting in the halls.
“I don’t think there’s a reason for the hula-hooping,” said Northeastern student Jenna Haines. “I think it’s just for fun!”
Haines, a freshman print journalism major, had experienced the MFA before. The special exhibits that the museum cycles through she said were her favorites.
“I really enjoyed the Americans in Paris exhibit,” said Haines.
The special exhibits are ones to be experienced at the MFA. One student from Boston University, Ginger Smith, gave great insight on a special exhibit that was once proudly shown in the museum.
“My favorite exhibit I’ve seen here would have to be the Rachel Whiteread exhibit,” said Smith, who is an art history major. The exhibit was a collection of dollhouses that Whiteread had changed and illuminated to create a town.
“Whiteread created a dreamscape of a small fantastical town,” said Smith. “It was like being a giant to the objects in the exhibit and I found it quite impressive.”
With the special exhibits and multiple events throughout, the MFA’s College Night was a big success. But while experiencing the night, one might wonder what the point of having a college night actually was. Why would the MFA promote and run such an event? Alfonso Pulido, a museum employee of seven years at the museum put it best.
“A lot of students would not normally experience the art of the MFA and College Night is the perfect opportunity to do so,” said Pulido. “All the museum’s exhibits are open to the students where they can hopefully find a new interest or fascination with a specific kind of art. I think this exposure is what it’s all about.”
Many students from colleges all over did get to experience the art of the MFA and new hobbies and interests may have been sparked. With all the exposure to the wonderful exhibits of the museum, Pulido’s hope may have come true.