Miniature Travel Guide to the Republic of Art Awesomeness in MA (This Weekend Edition)

So, you want art this weekend. You’ve come to the right place. Here’s a handy dandy guide to your art-seeking travels.

Your starting point is Taunton, Massachusetts, on Sat., June 4, 2011, for the Dighton Cow Chip Festival. There, you’ll behold chainsaw sculptor “The Machine” Jesse Green as he lives out his slogan – “Carving Dreams into Reality” – by sculpting (live, in real-time, and using the previously mentioned chainsaw) a cow sculpture that’s to become Taunton’s newest fixture.

Then, make your way due north until you reach the cool waters of the Charles River, where the Cambridge River Festival (Sat, June 4) can offer you music, puppetry, dance, theatre, improv, a parade, children’s programming, and all manners of interactive and creative fun.

Cross the Charles River to Boston – specifically, to the Rose Kennedy Greenway. There, FIGMENT Boston (June 4-5) awaits you. FIGMENT Boston is a part of the national FIGMENT project, a “forum for the creation and display of participatory and interactive art by emerging artists across disciplines.” Over 80 artists are participating in FIGMENT Boston this year, including live video installation, interactive music performance, architectural dance installation, and many, many other interesting projects that are too hard to compact into a reasonable sentence. May we humbly suggest this event is likely to be far out.

Next, head north to Salem, MA. You’ll find the Salem Arts Festival, a weekend-long (June 3-5) celebration of visual, performing, and literary art. You can take a magic carpet ride, learn bellydance, do improv, and see tons of art.

Now, I understand that, with four festivals already under your belt, you’re weary, hungry, possibly a touch over-festive. But you must persevere. For a little over 30 miles from Salem is the formidable city of Lowell, where you’ll breathlessly rush through the doors of the Merrimack Repertory Theatre. There, the Lowell National Historical Park hosts an evening of Irish dance and fiddle music Saturday night, featuring master artists and their apprentices, from the MCC’s Traditional Apprenticeship Program. Read more at our sibling blog, Keepers of Tradition, on this fascinating evening of solo, duet, and group performances.

You may rest now.

It’s Sunday morning (almost noon – you slept late). Rise, and see art.

First, head to South Boston, where there’s a Spring Open Studio at the Distillery & King Terminal (Sun., June 5, 2011). See the current participating artists and check out some previous work by some of those same artists in an older post we did about their Fall open studios.

Finally, make your way, by roller skate, rickshaw, unicycle, or – if need be – an easier mode of transport, to the Tufts University Art Gallery in Medford. A show of MCC Fellows just opened (see pictures of the opening on our Facebook page). If you want a sense of the range and vision of work being produced by visual artists in Massachusetts, you have arrived at your destination. While you’re there, use your cell to call a special number for audio commentary by the artists.

There. You’ve reached the end of our guide. But feel free to expand the map.

Image: Gallery view of paintings by Monica Nydam, from a show of MCC Fellows at Tufts University Art Gallery.

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