ICA staff share their recommendations for the best music, film, shopping, but mostly ART to check out this summer.


  • Common Exchange
    Through Sep 30, 2017
    Cambridge Common
    I’m looking to soak up as much sunshine as I can this summer, so outdoor art installations are especially intriguing. Common Exchange is a summer-long set of installations and performances around “The Common,” a historic park outside side of Harvard Square where George Washington is noted to have assembled troops during the Revolutionary War in the 1770s. I’m excited about many projects, especially Carmen Papalia’s visionless walking tours, Allison Smith’s colonial-era crafting workshops, and Kelly Sherman’s banners presenting individuals’ recollections of personal events that happened on the common. I’m marking my calendar to take part in as many as possible.
    Ruth Erickson, Mannion Family Curator
  • STAND UP: All Women* Group Exhibition at Gallery Kayafas
    July 10 – July 13
    Gallery Kayafas

    I can’t wait for this exhibition, chock full of fantastic female and gender-nonbinary artists from around town, many of whom have shown at the ICA, worked here, or otherwise crossed our path. It’s short—only 4 days—but looks mighty, taking on tough issues especially top-of-mind these days, such as class, race, identity, representation, power, and privilege.
    —Kris Wilton, Associate Director of Creative Content and Digital Engagement

  • Expanding Abstraction
    Through Sep 17, 2017
    decordova sculpture park
    The deCordova has a lovely outdoor rambling space in their sculpture park that’s great for folks of all shapes and sizes. Now on view they have an exhibition called Expanding Abstraction: New England Women Painters, 1950 to Now, which I found intriguing as it depicts the lesser-known history of abstract painting in New England.
    —Fabienne Keck, Curatorial Department Coordinator
  • The Meeting House
    Rose Kennedy Greenway
    The Rose Kennedy Greenway is always fun to stroll down, and I can’t wait to enter Mark Riegelman’s recently installed, topsy-turvy meeting house. Its colonial and ochre-yellow shape sunken into the grass is striking.
    —Ruth Erickson, Mannion Family Curator
  • Into the Light
    Through 2017
    I made my first trip to MASS MoCA a couple weeks ago and already can’t wait to go back! The converted factory campus is beautiful to walk around and perfect for a picnic. The highlight of the day was by far James Turrell’s new exhibition, Into the Light–the galleries were specifically constructed to house his sculptural light installations and I’ve never seen anything like it. Perfectly Clear, one of the bigger installations that requires advance reservations, is a must-see and totally mind-blowing.  
    —Kate Ryan, Events Manager
  • Glass Flowers
    Harvard Museum of Natural History
    Harvard’s Natural History Museum’s famous glass flowers exhibit was recently renovated and presents an incredible selection of their glass models of plants and flowers. A fun, family-friendly exhibit, these almost true-to-life objects are a marvel! 
    —Jessica Hong, Curatorial Associate
  • An Inventory of Shimmers: Objects of Intimacy in Contemporary Art
    Through Jul 16, 2017
    MIT List Visual Arts Center
    This compelling group exhibition at MIT’s List Center looks at artworks that engage with the nebulous concept of affect—one that is bracingly urgent to explore as we consider shifting capacities for intimacy and empathy in our present moment.
    —Jeffrey De Blois, Curatorial Associate
  • The Philosophy Chamber
    Through Dec 31, 2017
    Harvard Art Museums
    When inside, I’m looking forward to being enchanted by The Philosophy Chamber at the Harvard Art Museums, an exhibition of a now-defunct teaching cabinet—a collection of objects assembled between 1760 and 1820 to teach from and orate within. I’m intrigued by the many extractions and recontextualizations present within such an endeavor as well as the deep intertwining of knowledge that used to be the university. I’m looking forward to learning a lot.
    —Ruth Erickson, Mannion Family Curator


  • Nite Jewel
    Jul 26, 8 PM
    ONCE Sommerville
    Ramona Gonzalez, who records as Nite Jewel, creates music that sounds equal parts the DIY ethos of Grimes, the icey-coolness of Jessy Lanza, and the 90’s R&B flare of Janet Jackson. She recently released a terrific new album, Real High, that is the perfect set of summer jams! Real High comes just a year after she released a stellar set of releases in 2016 including another solo album, Liquid Cool, and a collaborative EP with one of my favorite artists (Dam-Funk) as Nite-Funk.
    —Chris Hoodlet, Membership Manager
  • Boston GreenFest
    Aug 11–13
    Boston City Hall Plaza
    Boston GreenFest combines art of all mediums into one big multicultural music and environmental festival! The focus is creating a green/healthy world for everyone! I enjoy the music stage the most. The main stage acts like a world stage where performances from all over the world come to perform. The food choices represent many different cultures as well, and you will also find eco vendors that serve to educate (and exhibit services and crafts). Local artisans come together to create murals for the festival—it’s a lot of fun!
    —Angie Brutus, Admissions + Box Office Associate


  • Gook
    The new movie Gook (a derogatory term for a Korean person) is about two Korean-American brothers in LA who own a store and befriend a young black girl, Kamilia, and explores their friendship in the context of the LA riots. As it’s the 25th anniversary of the LA riots, there has been increased attention in examining this time period and the heightened racial tensions in the city as well as throughout the country. Watch the trailer here. It has received critical acclaim and was shown at Boston’s recent film festival. It will have an August release, so check your local listings!
    Jessica Hong, Curatorial Associate

Shop Till You Drop

  • City-Wide Friends Book Sale
    Aug 5, 10 AM–4 PM
    Boston Public Library
    My pick is the City-Wide Friends book sale at the Central Library in Copley Square. You never know what gems you’ll find among all the donated and withdrawn books, CDs, and records! The books are super cheap (most are $1–$2), and the money goes to supporting the library. So you can find some awesome books or music and contribute to a great cause!
    Julie Streeter, Theater Production Manager

Out of State

  • Public Art Fund Open House
    Through Sep 24, 2017
    Doris C. Freedman Plaza, New York City
    I’m looking forward to experiencing the New York Public Art Fund’s Open House–a new commission by Los Angeles–based (but Boston-born!) artist Liz Glynn that explores distinctions between public and private space, opulence and access, design for the few vs. for the many. Doris C. Freedman Plaza is transformed into an open-air ballroom with scattered furnishings that evoke a grand Gilded Age residence but are cast in mundane concrete. Glynn invites the participation of visitors, who cannot help but think about the lack of accessible, affordable housing characteristic of today’s ever-stratified American urban centers.  
    Katie Mayshak, Director of Development
  • We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-1985
    Through Sep 17, 2017
    Brooklyn Museum
    I’m looking forward to going to New York City, more specifically to Brooklyn, to see the Brooklyn Museum’s We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–1985 because I’ve heard so many great things about this exhibition from friends near and far. In my mind, the stirring contemporary relevance of this show cannot be underscored enough!
    PRO TIP: If you can’t make it to Brooklyn this summer, catch this brilliant show at the ICA next summer from Jun 26 – Sep 30, 2018.
    —Fabienne Keck, Curatorial Department Coordinator