Mass MoCA, a.k.a. the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, may be Southern Vermont's best-kept secret when it comes to art and culture.
Jamaican fishing boats suspended in the air, an all-metal Bee Gees tribute band, floor-to-ceiling wall paintings... As it turns out, you don't have to travel very far to experience all of these things. Most of us imagine catching great live music and cutting edge modern art in the big cities, but Mass MoCA located just 40 minutes from Wilmington, Vermont in North Adams, Massachusetts, can easily compete with some of the best art museums around.
Mass MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) is one of the largest centers for contemporary visual and performing arts in the country. More than 80 major new works of art and more than 50 performances have been created through fabrication and rehearsal residencies in North Adams, making Mass MoCA perhaps the most fertile site in the country for new art.
The collections are diverse and stimulating. Long gone are the days of strolling through room after room of oil paintings and bronze sculptures. Instead, MASS MoCA hosts many artists that work beyond the traditional; working with media such as video, sound, and environment. Many comment on society or politics. Some examine process as opposed to product. And don't be surprised if you, as the viewer, become a part of the art you are viewing.
Besides their ever-changing gallery spaces, MASS MoCA also maintains a robust performing arts schedule. More than 75 performances are staged year-round, including popular music, contemporary dance, alternative cabaret, world music dance parties, outdoor silent films with live music, documentaries, and avant-garde theater. Check out their performing arts events calender to see what's coming up.
This March marks the end of the impressive Sol LeWitt Retrospective at MASS MoCA. This project, which was executed by art students from around the country, displays the massive, mathematical wall-drawing compositions of the late Sol LeWitt. So go check it out before they white-wash those walls on March 31st.
Now that winter is winding down and the muddier, quieter days of early spring are upon us, a trip to Mass MoCA may be just the thing you need to get your mind and body moving. And of course if you need a place to stay after all that art and culture, you can search our short term rentals in Southern Vermont.
Image compliments of MassMOCA.org