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Free arts events in Boston this weekend

By Katie Decker-Jacoby

Section: Arts

September 8, 2017

Admittedly, the Brandeis arts scene seems a bit slow at the beginning of the semester. The Fall Activities Fair took place this past Sunday, Sept. 3, which means clubs are now in the process of re-booting and recruiting. If you are a fan of the arts, but aren’t sure where to look for fun, affordable events, have no fear, here are three vibrant arts events happening this weekend in Boston, all free of charge.

First up is The Boston Arts Festival, where more than 50 Boston artists will showcase their work and a dozen musicians will take the stage. On Saturday, Sept. 9 and Sunday, Sept. 10 from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., this annual tradition is the perfect place to get introduced to and support local artists. Festival attendees can gather at the Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park in Boston. This event is free and open to the public, and will go on rain or shine.

The Boston Arts Festival was launched by Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the City of Boston’s Office of Arts, Tourism and Special Events, in 2003. Menino and Boston’s Office of Arts aimed to shed light on the city’s open studios. 14 years after the festival’s inception, the organizers of the Beacon Hill Art Walk and Artist Crossing Gallery now manage the festival, which attracts more than 50,000 visitors.

The best part of this festival is that it exhibits the works of myriad artists across the Boston area, artists that may not necessarily be as well known, but certainly have much to offer to the Boston arts scene.

If you are looking for dorm décor or a gift, check out Irene and Jonas Hastings’ illustrative paper products. The husband and wife dynamic duo met 20 years ago and together launched Hastings Studio. Irene and Jonas take part in every step of the creative process. They design the prints and greeting cards together, and then Jonas prints all of the final products himself. The team covers their prints and cards with animals and pops of bold colors. One card has a drawing of a corgi dog on top of a bright solid yellow background. Another features a navy-colored lobster with hints of pinks and reds, covering a plain turquoise background. The two definitely take a more minimalistic approach to their graphics, which adds a playful and animated flair.

Oana Lauric blends realism and abstraction together in her soft, airy paintings. Lauric was born in Romania and has worked in Paris and now Boston. Lauric has managed to establish a distinct style of painting evident in her works. The artist zooms in on architectural buildings and personal memories, relying on illumination two-ways. She utilizes light and shadow to project a romantic and mysterious ambience in her paintings. She also uses illumination, as in spiritual enlightenment, to present drama and obscurity. Lauric definitely takes a unique and unconventional approach to illustrating architectural subjects by blurring the details, lines, contours and hues of buildings. Traces of these details can be seen in her depiction of the Custom Tower House in Boston.

If you are looking for handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry for yourself or a gift, visit Anke Ueckert’s booth. Ueckert is a German-born creator of sterling silver jewelry. After apprenticing for a jewelry company, she launched her own line, which draws inspiration from her passions for gardening and the sea. Festival goers can see delicate, sparkling, plain yet elegant accessory pieces that incorporate starfish, shells, flowers and more into their designs.

In addition to these three extremely talented artists, you can find photographers, sculptors, fashion and accessory designers and even one furniture designer all at the festival.

Saturday’s musical line-up introduces Fiona Corinne, Didn’t Planet, Ariel Strasser & Ken Budka, blindspot, Red Right Hand, Audible Crayons, Lockjaw Smile and Sam Woolf to the Waterfront Stage. Sunday welcomes Mint Green, Nick Zaino, The Inebriations, Matt York and the Missed Flights, Molly Pinto Madigan, Dave Crespo, Atlas Lab and Chris Moreno.

The festival is right across the street from Faneuil Hall and the North End, making it is easily accessible and nearby to plenty of other nearby attractions.

If you would like to stand among and in front of the works of countless talented artists, the first annual “Underground GetDown” block party and celebration might be for you. The Underground Mural Project, hosted by the Underground at Ink Block, will feature 150,000 square feet of newly finished mural walls. This event will reveal murals created by prominent street-artists such as Cey Adams (New York), Don Rimx (Puerto Rico), Imagine876 (Boston), Hoxxoh (Miami), Marka27 (Boston), Percy Fortini Wright (Boston), Problak (Boston), Upendo (Los Angeles), Vyal One (Los Angeles), Ewok (Boston) and Thy Doan (Boston). Along with the unveiling of the murals, there will be a beer garden, ping pong, lawn games, food trucks and DJs Gucci Vuitton and Braun Dapper. The event is free, but you should register online. The celebration will take place at the Underground at Ink Block park beneath the Expressway in the South End, on Saturday, Sept. 9 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Last but not least, the Cambridge Carnival takes to the streets this Sunday, Sept. 10 from 12 to 7 p.m. This year marks the carnival’s 25th annual festival, so it is sure to be jam-packed and entertaining. Among the festivities, you can watch dance troupes twirling and spinning in handmade costumes, bright feathers, dazzling jewels, stunning face makeup and intricate masks. Last year, Tempo International Rhythm Section Percussion Group, Boston Socaholics, Cumm Cross Productions, Soca and Associates, D’Horizon, Camo Band and Majestical Force performed in the parade. This year’s performers are sure to please and put on a vibrant show. A costume competition will also ensue after the parade.

You can also enjoy international foods and buy multicultural crafts from local vendors, as well as KidsFest, the family area with face painting, arts and crafts, stilt walking and train rides. The live music of local musicians and DJs will continuously fill the streets of Kendall Square. This year’s theme is “By The People For The People,” so the carnival is planned by the community for the community. Even though this event is rooted in African traditions, the organizers hope to bring the city together to celebrate Cambridge’s diversity. Like the two aforementioned arts events in Boston, this carnival is free of charge and open to the public, so head on down to the bustling streets of Kendall Square to get a good view of the parade and other festivities.

If you find yourself wondering what you should do this weekend and can’t find any on-campus arts events to attend, take a look at these three functions. They are all this weekend, in Boston, free and guaranteed fun.

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