The Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) opened a new art museum to the public on February 22nd with a bang, as they announced that admission to the museum would be completely free all year. According to their website, MassArt knew from the start they were going to create a free art museum as a way “to open eyes, expand minds, and create opportunity through the lens of contemporary art.”
The MassArt Art Museum (MAAM), is located within the MassArt campus and is completely accessible for individuals in wheelchairs as well as welcoming to those with strollers. The individuals behind the museum wanted the entire establishment to feel immersive, so much so that even the bathrooms have a slew of wall art and intricate mirror designs that allow for the perfect selfie as you make your way through the museum. Besides just galleries MAAM also has an educational center where it will host workshops for not only students, but members of the community as well; anyone is welcome and encouraged to come.
“We have reimagined the museum-going experience to create an inviting and welcoming place for all our visitors, offering a richer engagement with exhibitions and programming. Our artists will also feel supported to realize their vision, and our students will be invited into the process to learn from the professional artists they aspire to be,” said Lisa Tung, Executive Director of the Museum.
MAAM is currently displaying artwork of all mediums created by MassArt faculty, students, and artists from all around the world who’s pieces have been curated by MassArt within the past decade. Tung went on to explain how students make up a majority of the museum staff, as one of the other main goals of the museum is to prepare students for careers in “art, education, and design.” All museum staff are also trained and paid accordingly, which is always helpful for college students in general.
Before you even walk into the museum you will be greeted by a small plaza outside the main entrance which has a bunch of different outdoor seating options, as well as some outdoor art on display. Once inside, you’ll immediately take in the open concept design which displays two separate galleries within the museum entrance itself. One gallery is currently housing a group art exhibit titled “Game Changers: Video Games & Contemporary Art.” The exhibit uses “animations and computer-generated images to explore the crossover between artmaking and game design.
That exhibit will be on display until April 19th, and it only scratches the surface of the unique pieces that are so effortlessly spread throughout the museum. There are dozens of other large and intricate art displays within the 15,000 square foot museum space, all of which was recently renovated thanks to funding raised MassArt’s UNBOUND capital campaign; the campaign raised $12.5 million to fund the project.
“The MassArt Art Museum offers us an opportunity to introduce contemporary art to some members of our community for the first time. I am deeply grateful to our generous donors who have shared our vision and helped us to create this free contemporary art museum. In this space we will be able to inspire the next generation of MassArt students and art enthusiasts, and encourage longtime art lovers to consider new artistic perspectives and practices,” said MassArt President David Nelson in a press release.
The MassArt Art Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, hours vary based on the day but doors typically stay open until 6 pm. So if you find yourself in the area, take a day to go explore some contemporary art for free!
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.