Experience Art Outdoors in Boston this Fall
Don’t miss out on all of the outdoor experiences Boston has to offer while the city continues to practice social distancing. In our list of spots to check out before the colder months, we’re shouting out public art installations, outdoor events, and experiences with nature that will add meaning to your Fall 2020.
Before making plans to visit these spots, be sure to review the City of Boston’s guidelines for social distancing!
This new outdoor public art installation has given 12 regional artists the opportunity to transform utility boxes in Downtown Boston into works of art that celebrate the culinary history of the city. Artists were inspired by famous coffee and candy companies, the foods of diverse cultures, iconic food locations across the city, and Boston’s best-known dishes. Learn more about the artists who contributed their efforts to this project and their unique styles, and where you can find their pieces by visiting the project’s website.
The public park that runs through Chinatown, the Financial District, the Harbor, and the North End, is a favorite for food trucks, markets, and visual art. This fall, you can take in artist Yu-Wen Wu’s Lantern Stories, which celebrates the vibrant community of Boston’s Chinatown using thirty lanterns that illuminate the district’s culture and resiliency as well as recognizing the history of immigration. Plus, when exploring the park, you’ll be able to see several murals and sculptures that add vibrancy to the downtown area, like Engulf by Juan Travieso, pictured above.
These two historic areas, created in 1634 and 1837 respectively, are home to some of Boston’s most iconic acres. Both spaces were created to serve as a common ground for all Bostonians to experience relief from the pollution and overcrowding of city life. Today, they are home to the beloved swan boats, Frog Pond, and many great works of art.
Havard’s 281-acre Arboretum has remained open throughout the pandemic, providing a much-needed botanical oasis in the middle of Boston. The landscape is home to nearly 15,000 individual plants, including labeled trees, shrubs, and ferns that will catapult your plant knowledge to the next level. What’s more, you can learn more about the Arboretum and the significance of supporting biologists and naturalists through Actors’ Shakespeare Project’s, The Nature of Shakespeare, a virtual theatre project filmed in the Arboretum. Part two of the multi-weekend performance airs October 17.
With the recent reopening of the Boston Common Visitor Information Center, it’s easy to access information about Boston’s famous Freedom Trail: open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. View a full list of the historic sites that are now open along the iconic brick path, including King’s Chapel, where you can get your mind blown about styles and intentions of cemeteries and, and how the art used in the area has evolved over almost 400 years.
The wooded park that stretches across 527 acres of Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, and Dorchester is home to many special outdoor spaces in the city, including the Franklin Park Zoo. Through October, you can check out “Boston Lights: A Lantern Experience,” which is comprised of 50 large-scale displays of hundreds of colorful lanterns that Feature stunning, dramatic depictions of animals. From the walk-through 66-foot-long shark tunnel to an almost 200-foot-long dragon, the experience is not to miss for those who want to add a dash of whimsical ambiance to their fall.
If you’re looking for a change of scenery and a chance to be surrounded by the breathtaking Massachusetts foliage, a drive up to Mass MoCA in the Berkshires is always worth it. Martin Puryear’s sculpture Big Bling has been on display since 2016, but the sculpture wows just as much as it did back when it debuted at the museum. The sculpture draws on themes of urban life and rap culture that evoke a fascinating dissonance amidst the piece’s location, once a location defined by industrial labor and factory towns.
The outdoor performance venue in Cambridge continues to host socially-distant performances and classes from Cambridge’s top artists such as the Front Porch Arts Collective, The Dance Complex, and ImprovBoston. Coming up: Central Square Theater and BAMS Fest are presenting a night of upbeat and groovy live music and entertainment that will no doubt be medicine for the soul amidst fall pandemic life.
The List Visual Arts Center has a robust collection of public art, and you can use their mobile app to get a tour of the installations that can be spotted across MIT’s campus. It goes without saying when you see Alicja Kwade’s baffling piece that takes shape as a topsy-turvy, yet functioning clock, Against the Run, that the piece has new meanings based on how we’re experiencing time during periods of quarantine.
Header photo: Rose Kennedy Greenway, via Instagram.
Elena Morris (she/her/hers) is ArtsBoston’s Community Outreach and Marketing Manager. She is a dramaturg and arts administrator passionate about forward-thinking in the arts. Elena holds a BFA in Theatre Arts from Boston University, focusing her studies on dramatic literature and movement.