For Immediate Release
7 December 2016
Contact: Jodi Joseph
Director of Communications
Music Legend Mavis Staples, Dance Icon Bill T. Jones, and Hilarious Comedian Phoebe Robinson Headline Winter/Spring Season Packed with New Art, Live Music, Documentary Film, and the Return of the High Mud Comedy Festival
Major new exhibitions by Steffani Jemison, Tanja Hollander, and Elizabeth King feature photography, sculpture, and abstraction
Nick Cave continues to turn heads
Four-part documentary film series celebrates world-changing women in February
High Mud returns with big names, FreshGrass standouts head back to the Hunter Center, and indie rockers on the rise warm us up, up in The Club
NORTH ADAMS, MASSACHUSETTS — MASS MoCA heads into the winter season with ladies in the spotlight, on stage and in the galleries. Also on top: five exhibition openings, a concert by freshly reunited Miracle Legion, a timely musical performance by Sō Percussion: A Gun Show, and the reprisal of Parsonsfield’s FreshScores, a FreshGrass ’16 favorite. Free Day falls on February 4, a day in which MASS MoCA throws open its doors and welcomes museum-goers with free gallery admission.
In the Galleries
Nick Cave: Until, the artist’s largest exhibition yet, opened October 15, and continues to occupy our largest gallery and our imagination. Forests, clouds, mountains, and a trove of dazzling objects expose America’s ugly underbelly — a provocative environment that challenges every viewer. “Nick’s work is so seductive but it’s always had this political thread,” remarks curator Denise Markonish. “He aims to seduce you and then punch you in the gut.” On April 28, curator Markonish facilitates a discussion with the artist, the head of Chicago’s Police Board and Task Force on Police Accountability, Lori E. Lightfoot, as well as other contributors to the exhibition catalog. The panel will grapple with America’s most confounding issues, including gun control, gun violence, race relations, and policing.
Tanja Hollander set out to photograph all 626 of her Facebook friends, traveling the world to find out from her connections, Are you really my friend? The exhibition opens on February 18. Elizabeth King challenges the idea of radical smallness, exhibiting her half-scale sculptures and stop-motion video projections. King will produce an animated video during a two-week artist residency, when she will employ her gallery space as animation studio. Visitors are invited to watch art being made. Radical Small opens March 4. Evocative and enigmatic, Steffani Jemison’s Plant You Now, Dig You Later, inspired in part by Louis Armstrong lyrics, opens on March 18. Jemison’s exhibition features a new sound work, a graphic score, photographs, and paintings inspired by black resistance movements and unconventional methods of communication. In the Abstract uses stacks of bunk beds, lines of hanging clothes, and canvases encrusted with sawdust to examine the systemic abstraction of the world we live in, and its role as a metaphor for social and political reality. The show opens on May 6. Animating the Hunter mezzanine, Chris Domenick combines simple industrial printing processes with collage and drawing in Fifty Days, beginning January 18.
The spring season is a delicious serving of living legends and trailblazing talent. Staple Singers sensation and recent Kennedy Center Honoree Mavis Staples is a highlight of the season. She takes the Hunter Center stage on March 25 with her full band. The Universal Melody Brass Band brings wicked horns and drums galore — from Duke Ellington to Sly and the Family Stone — to MASS MoCA on February 4, a funky capstone for the museum’s annual Free Day. On January 28, Parsonsfield returns to MASS MoCA to reprise their smashing FreshGrass performance scoring Nanook of the North with original music. On February 11, we welcome Sō Percussion: A Gun Show, a group The New Yorker describes as “an exhilarating blend of precision and anarchy, rigor and bedlam.”
Freshly reunited locals Miracle Legion plays a special homecoming show on April 8, where its jangly guitar rock will transport you back to the glory days of radio. Janka Nabay and the Bubu Gang keep the good vibes rolling with traditional Bubu music best described as dance meets reggae meets electronic. Party with the gang on March 11. On March 17, local heroes Whiskey Treaty Roadshow ring in St. Patrick’s Day with a celebration of brotherhood, spirits, and foot stomping folk rock. Sam Cohen, the former Apollo Sunshine and Yellowbirds frontman, promises “vintage, sunny psychedelia” (Pitchfork) with his feel-good sound on February 25. Nordic duo My Bubba closes out the Club B10 season with their mesmerizing, soft vocals. No Depression coins them “their generation’s Simon and Garfunkel.”
MASS MoCA’s High Mud Comedy Festival returns for a foolishly funny weekend hosted by festival favorite Dave Hill. Phoebe Robinson — the sensational co-creator and co-star of 2 Dope Queens — anchors the weekend. More lineup details are to be announced, but for now, pen in March 31-April 1 for a jam-packed weekend of serious laughs. We warm you up for High Mud on February 18, when Jo Firestone and Club B10 alum Joe Pera hit us with some absurdist comedy.
Renowned choreographer and dancer Bill T. Jones performs a new work, developed in response and performed amid Nick Cave’s Until on March 4. Okwui Okpokwasili, a politically charged performance artist and Bessie Award-winning dancer, will take the gallery space as stage on April 4 in a solo program. Richard Move will be i00n residence to develop XXYY, a new collaboration with theater artist Alba Clemente and visual artist Paolo Canevari. The poetic, multi-sensorial piece ends its MASS MoCA story with a work-in-progress performance on January 20.
Free Day, an annual event in which MASS MoCA throws opens its doors and waives admission to all visitors, falls on February 4 from 11am-7pm, with activities for families all throughout the day. The Universal Melody Brass Band performs that night to top the celebration. Feminist acrobatic dance troupe LAVA takes our Hunter Center stage the afternoon of Saturday, April 15, to present a new piece, developed at MASS MoCA, in their show designed for families and children.
We introduce our new documentary series, Portraits of Empowerment: Women Making an Impact, on Thursday, February 2, which is comprised of four films to be screened each Thursday of February. Four notable films are on the docket: Seven Songs for a Long Life, Everybody Knows…Elizabeth Murray, Ovarian Psycos, and Revolution in 4 Seasons.
Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival returns June 23-25, featuring Wilco, band members’ solo projects, and a lineup curated specially by the group. Tickets go on sale December 9. FreshGrass Festival returns on September 15-17. Advance tickets available at 2015 prices are on sale now.
Buy Now, Save Money
MASS MoCA discounts tickets 25% off all spring 2017 Club B10 shows, work-in-progress performances, The Universal Melody Brass Band, Sō Percussion, and LAVA, if tickets are purchased by January 2, 2017. Discounts do not combine, and discounted tickets are non-refundable and non-transferrable.
Tickets for all events are available through the MASS MoCA box office located on Marshall Street in North Adams. The box office is open 11am to 5pm every day except Tuesdays. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 x1 during box office hours or purchased online at massmoca.org. All events are held rain or shine.
Season at a Glance, by Date
|January 20||8pm||Richard Move||Dance|
|January 28||8pm||Parsonsfield: Nanook of the North||Film with Live Music|
|February 2||7:30pm||A Revolution in 4 Seasons||Documentary Film Series|
|February 4||11am-7pm||Free Day||Free admission for all|
|February 4||8pm||The Universal Melody Brass Band||Live Music|
|February 9||7:30pm||Ovarian Psycos||Documentary Film Series|
|February 11||8pm||Sō Percussion: A Gun Show||Live Music|
|February 16||7:30pm||Seven Songs for a Long Life||Documentary Film Series|
|February 18||8pm||Jo Firestone||Comedy|
|February 23||7:30pm||Everybody Knows…Elizabeth Murray||Documentary Film Series|
|February 25||8pm||Sam Cohen||Live Music|
|March 4||8pm||Bill T. Jones||Dance in the galleries|
|March 11||8pm||Janka Nabay and the Bubu Gang||Live Music|
|March 17||8pm||The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow||Live Music|
|March 18||5:30pm||Members’ Opening reception: Elizabeth King: Radical Small; Tanja Hollander: Are You Really My Friend?; Steffani Jemison: Plant You Now, Dig You Later||Exhibition Openings|
|March 25||8pm||Mavis Staples||Live Music|
|March 31-April 1||TBD||The High Mud Comedy Festival||Comedy Festival|
|April 7||8pm||Okwui Okpokwasili||Dance in the galleries|
|April 8||8pm||Miracle Legion||Live Music|
|April 15||3pm||LAVA: A Goddessy||For Kids|
|April 28||6pm||Nick Cave Book Talk||Book Talk|
|May 6||8pm||My Bubba||Live Music|
|May 6||5:30pm||Members’ Opening Reception: In the Abstract; The Half-Life of Love||Exhibition|
|June 23-25||All day||Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival||Music Festival|
|September 15-17||All day||FreshGrass Festival||Music Festival|
High-resolution images of MASS MoCA’s spring 2017 events are available through this link: http://bit.ly/MMWinterSpring2017
Performing arts events at MASS MoCA are sponsored in part by Berkshire Gas and The Porches Inn at MASS MoCA.
About MASS MoCA
MASS MoCA is one of the world’s liveliest (and largest) centers for making, showing, and enjoying today’s most important art, music, dance, theater, film, and video.
Gallery admission is $18 for adults, $16 for veterans and seniors, $12 for students, $8 for children 6 to 16, and free for children 5 and under. Members are admitted free year-round. The Hall Art Foundation’s Anselm Kiefer exhibition is open seasonally, spring – fall. For additional information, call 413.662.2111 x1 or visit massmoca.org.
11am to 5pm, closed Tuesdays