MCLA

Crosstown Traffic

Students flock to MASS MoCA


08/19/2009

One of the benefits of attending MCLA is its proximity to the world renowned arts community of the Berkshires. North Adams is home to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), the nation's largest contemporary art museum, and our students are blazing a trail between the two campuses.

Recently, these visits have been in record numbers, much to the delight of MASS MoCA's director, Joseph Thompson.

The program between the two institutions is "firing on all cylinders," he says. Thompson reports that attendance among students has grown steadily over the past two years and continues to be "really, really strong this summer."

The MASS MoCA daily attendance report for July shows that 383 students visited the museum, thanks to the partnership that allows them free entrance into the galleries.

"The college 'earned back' its annual membership in just 12 days alone," says Thompson. "I hope MCLA earns that back 20 times per year. By the way, we love seeing your students here!"

According to Katherine Myers, director of marketing and public relations at MASS MoCA, most of the students who visited the museum were students who attended Leadership Academy, a graduate program for educators offered at MCLA each summer.

Other visitors included students taking summer classes at the College. During the regular school year, students may visit the museum for free as well.

"We're really glad that the MCLA program is working and the faculty and staff are taking advantage of it as well," Myers says. "We're delighted to have them, and it's great to have MCLA so closely tied to MASS MoCA."

Just one of the many cultural and educational opportunities at MCLA, the visits continue an ongoing partnership between the College and MASS MoCA.

Last summer, recent graduates and MCLA students served internships and apprenticeships at the museum as they worked to install its acclaimed Sol LeWitt exhibition, Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective.

This exhibition was hailed by Time magazine as "a great new American art-world destination."  Time also proclaimed it as the number-one art exhibit for 2008. This retrospective, which comprises 105 of LeWitt's large-scale wall drawings that span the artist's career from 1969 to 2007, will remain on view at MASS MoCA for 25 years.