This week, WGBH News’ Arts Editor Jared Bowen tours the new MassArt Art Museum, experiences the music of Aisslinn Nosky, and gives us a sneak peak at Ice Dance International.
“MassArt Art Museum,” now open and free to the public at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design
The Massachusetts College of Art and Design has re-opened its Bakalar and Paine Galleries as a new museum. The MassArt Art Museum, or MAAM, is described by executive director Lisa Tung as a “Kunsthalle” — the German word for a non-collecting museum. It will showcase a rotating roster of contemporary artists.
“I think Kunsthalle best fits what we want to do,” says Tung. “[It] allows us to not be beholden to a collection… It allows us to respond to today's topics and dialogue.”
One of the inaugural exhibitions is a commission from Lisbon-based artist Joana Vasconcelos, who has crafted a massive sculpture titled “Valkyrie Mumbet,” named for the civil rights pioneer Elizbeth Mumbet Freeman, which stretches across the massive gallery space.
“You can look into this as an animal, or you can look into this as a plant, or as a monster from the sea world,” says Vasconcelos about her “Valkyrie.” “I like to make open things so you can analyze and choose whatever connects with you.”
Aisslinn Nosky, performing “Haydn + Beethoven” with the Handel + Haydn Society on February 28 and March 1
Since 2011, Aisslinn Nosky has been Concertmaster at Handel + Haydn Society. On Feb. 28 and again on March 1, Nosky and the Handel + Haydn Society celebrate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth with “Haydn + Beethoven,” featuring Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 1” performed with Haydn’s “Symphony No. 6, Le Matin” and “Symphony No. 92, Oxford.”
“There's anecdotes about Beethoven playing the piano wildly, with great emotion and his hair being all over the place and his eyes rolling around in his head” says Nosky, who is known for her dynamic and energized playing style on the violin. “What I try to do is get in the emotional space of the music and then just let it carry me away.”
“Ice Dance International,” Presenting “In Flight: Live” at the Skating Club of Boston on February 29. Also performing in Dover, NH on March 6 and Stowe, VT on March 14
Ice dance is getting a revival through the Maine-based ensemble Ice Dance International. Led by executive artistic director Douglas Webster, Ice Dance International features dancers performing incredibly athletic ice ballets to the music of Philip Glass, Max Richter, Artie Shaw and more.
“Being able to take one step and for it to take you the entire length of the stage offers that feeling of flight, that feeling of like floating through space,” says performer Ian Lorello. “It is very different… unless we're standing still, it's very linear. We're either going backwards or we're going forwards, versus being able to have all of our cardinal directions.”