By Jennifer Ives
The MFANOW college night drew huge crowds of fans of all ages over on Oct. 14th. From 9 p.m. Friday to 9 a.m. Saturday, throngs of residents and visitors enjoyed free admission to the world class museum’s modern art wing and select galleries.
Insomniac Olympics, jogs around the museum, printmaking, and other activities kept visitors engaged and amused between opportunities to view rare afterhours footage of “The Clock” and watch live graffiti creations by local artists.
By the 9 p.m. opening time the line for entry snaked back and forth across the entire parking lot, spilling out and down the sidewalk, as eager visitors waited patiently in the cool evening air.
MIT students hosted a “Heavy Metal Petting Zoo” that encouraged attendees to dissect stuffed animals and create new ones, engaging them in a dialogue about destruction and creation in the heart of a building traditionally dedicated solely to preservation.
A pile of creations meowed, twitched, and buzzed happily, courtesy of a well-curated pile of voice boxes and motors that creators could incorporate into their creatures throughout the event.
An animatronic cat petting attraction tucked cosily next to the creation table let guests sit down and relax for a while in tranquil strobe lighting with some light heavy metal music floating through the air.
In the courtyard outside food trucks offered attendees everything from Mexican to Indian and Jamaican fare, while local graffiti artists created new masterpieces and lawn games let guests cool off and enjoy fresh air periodically.
A lights display projected directly onto the side of the museum kept attendees waiting for admission amused and fascinated. Friendly employees made sure everyone was prepared to check in and distributed handouts describing the nights entertainments.
Visitors even had the option of staying past the Museums regular opening time of 10 a.m., and continued to enjoy the exhibits the next day after regular admission prices had resumed.
Vibrant and interactive with live musical performances by local acapella groups and DJs, The MFANOW Overnight events have already proven to be a hit with locals, with high attendance rates for both events so far and enthusiastic responses on social media and in person by attendees thrilled to get a up close and personal look at the art in a more high energy environment than they might otherwise get.
Hopefully, these events will become a yearly tradition long after the MFANOW season is over.
The MFA is hosting several more overnight events as part of their season of MFANOW, which is meant to give back to the local community, encourage engagement with the arts, and raise the profile of the MFA as a staple of the community and arts scene here in Boston.
The next event will be on Nov. 4th from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. Nov 5th, and will again be completely free of charge to all attendees.
The MFA is open 7 days a week, Monday and Tuesday 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Wednesday–Friday, 10 a.m.–10 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free with your Simmons Student ID.