2013 has been an exciting year for arts both on and off campus. As always, there have been plenty of performances and exhibitions at MIT, running the gamut of creative endeavours from Senegalese drumming, to experimental theater, to ballroom dancing. In addition, for the first time, there has been a push to promote entrepreneurship in the arts at MIT, with a new category in the 100K competition for art/design-related ventures and a hackathon event.
The Council for the Arts at MIT granted Olafur Eliasson the 40th Anniversary Eugene McDermott Award for his multi-faceted practice. The Award, which is one of the most generous cultural honors in the United States, gives Eliasson a $100,000 cash prize, campus residency, and a gala held in his honor. Eliasson will therefore be on campus in 2014 to collaborate with the MIT community.
In Boston we’re blessed with many concerts, and this year visiting musicians included Muse, Drake, P!nk, and Crystal Castles. Among museum exhibitions, there were two fantastic exhibitions at the MFA: New Blue and White, which featured contemporary interpretations of classic porcelain, and a stunning collection of John Singer Sargent’s watercolor paintings. In the Fall, there was a performance by the Boston Ballet Company on Boston Common to open their 50th season, which was wildly popular and attended by over 45,000 people. The same weekend, jazz enthusiasts flocked to the annual BeanTown Jazz Festival organized by the Berklee College of Music. For the first half of October, British artist Luke Jerram’s interactive installation “Play Me, I’m Yours” encouraged people to show off their skills on 75 pianos that were placed across the city.
In film, the best offerings were a stimulating mix of the new and familiar, including a film from famous director Woody Allen, and sequels such as Catching Fire and Before Midnight. The same mix is true for music, with albums from established artists like Drake and Vampire Weekend standing alongside newer ones such as HAIM. Read on for more, as The Tech presents the highlights of arts in 2013.