From a high-tech take on ancient Egypt to a large scale mural amplifying joy, GBH Executive Arts Editor Jared Bowen talks through the latest arts and culture events in Boston with Morning Edition on Arts this Week.

Beyond King Tut: The Immersive Experience

Now on view through October 2, 2022 at SoWa Power Station in Boston

'Beyond King Tut’ is making its world premiere in Boston, marking the 100th anniversary of Howard Carter's 1922 discovery of King Tut’s tomb. While a lot of immersive experiences have recently churned through the region, from Van Gogh to Frida Kahlo, Bowen says this one is different. This comes from the archives of National Geographic, so it has more of the museum experience, there is a narrative and a story that’s being told.”

This is an exhibit that doubles as time travel, taking people back over 3,000 years to Egypt’s 18th dynasty. “You walk into this massive room that becomes this fantastical experience,” says Bowen. “It imagines Tut's move from this earthly realm into the afterlife and the beliefs that ancient Egyptians had about what it meant for a pharaoh to move on.”

Recognizing that these immersive experiences are gaining traction in the arts and culture world, Bowen says this is more than a fad. “It's a worthwhile trend. Nothing is ever going to replace the real museum experience and seeing art up close, but this is engagement. If you can't get to the tombs, this is a great way to do it. “

A close-up of King Tut's likeness from the Beyond King Tut exhibit.
Beyond King Tut Beyond King Tut

Rob "ProBlak" Gibbs, "Breathe Life Together”

Now on view at Dewey Square in Boston through May, 2023

Bowen describes artist and Roxbury native Rob “ProBlak” Gibbs as “a man of murals.” Gibbs’ large-scale works include his most recent “Breathe Life” series. Bowen says Gibbs is someone who is “authoring the city with these massive paintings that are radiating great joy.”

Gibbs’ latest work is “Breathe Life Together,” which is on the Rose Kennedy Greenway at Dewey Square, brightening up the Tunnel Air Intake Structure. Every year the building gets a new mural by a different artist. This year, however, is the first time that a local artist has been given this commission. It's also a first for a Black man.

Bowen says the most joyous thing about this mural is that it features an enormous rendering of Gibbs’ daughter, Bobbi Lauren, who is now four years old. “This is his goal. He wants Black and brown children to grow up in this city and think this is absolutely normal. It’s normal to see yourself on a mural.”

Rob "ProBlak" Gibbs' mural "Breathe Life Together," on Dewey Square
Jacob Garcia, GBH News