Boston is home to an incredibly vast collection of museums. The Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum are among some of the most well-known, but dozens of smaller galleries and museum spaces also fill the greater Boston area — from our own Rose Art Museum to the Fuller Craft Museum to the Addison Gallery of American Art. As a student, it can be hard to justify the price of general admission for a museum visit but, luckily, museums realize this and cater to students. Many have student discounts — the MFA, for example, is completely free for Brandeis students — and many offer free college nights. So take advantage of your time in Boston and explore its fantastic, immense and eclectic arts scene. Here are a few exhibits opening this spring that are worth a visit.


deCordova Sculpture Park

April 1 - Sept. 5

deCordova’s “Overgrowth” focuses on “representations of prolific expansion, growth, and mutation,” according to the exhibit description. The works are taken from the museum’s permanent collection and include paintings, works of sculpture, works on paper and photographs. The exhibit seems to be multifaceted and comprehensive. “In addition to scenes of accelerated transformation found in nature and the built environment, Overgrowth explores how generative growth and additive processes are instrumental to the making of art,” notes the description. Artists on view include Jean Arp, Jedediah Caesar, Edward Steichen, Gary Webb and Rachel Perry Welty. If you are looking to get some background and insight on these works, you can join Associate Curator Sarah Montross on a guided tour of the exhibit on April 6. The deCordova is probably worth a visit just for the landscape itself — encompassing 30 acres of woodlands and lawns — the pastoral and peaceful site is certainly a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of school. 

‘The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawrence Harris’

Museum of Fine Arts

March 12 - June 12

The Museum of Fine Arts Boston is a museum not to be missed during your time at Brandeis. Even in the case that no featured exhibits incredibly interest you, just exploring the museum’s permanent collection will be worth your trip. From ancient Egyptian canonic jars to Monet, the MFA has an expansive and impressive collection. “Idea of the North,” opening in mid-March, will showcase Canadian artist Lawren Harris’ vibrant and somewhat cubist depictions of her native chilly climate. The exhibit will show 30 of Harris’ works from the 1920s and 1930s, a period that the MFA cites as one of the most significant in her career. Curated by comedian, actor, writer and producer Steve Martin, “Idea of the North” is Harris’ first solo exhibition in the United States. Come see the wintry peaks and plains of ice — you might need to bring your winter coat because Harris’ paintings look pretty frigid. 

‘Joana Hadjithomas and Kahlil Joreige: I Must First Apologize’

Massachusetts Institute of Technology List Visual Arts Center

Feb. 19 - April 17

Have you ever received one of those emails saying you have won thousands of dollars in a lottery for which you did not even purchase a ticket? This type of Internet spam is exactly what Lebanese multimedia artists Joana Hadjithomas and Kahlil Joreige explore in “I Must First Apologize.” Currently at MIT’s List Visual Arts Center, the exhibit consists of film, sculpture, photography and installation works which,“probe into the structures of belief and storytelling [and] they unfold a complex set of relationships marked by intimacy, trust, greed, and desire, all in relation to the internet and technology,” according to the description. 

A recent video installation work, “The Rumor of the World (2014),” will also be on display — a work that makes use of 23 screens and 100 loudspeakers. 

‘Walid Road’ 

Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston

Feb. 24 - May 30

In his upcoming survey exhibit at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, Walid Raad explores themes of truth and falsehood within memories through photography, video and sculpture. Informed by memories of his childhood and upbringing during the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990), Raad is interested in exploring “the veracity of archives and photographic documents in the public realm, the role of memory and narrative within discourses of conflict, and the construction of histories of art in the Arab world,” according to the exhibit description. Throughout the course of the exhibition, Raad will periodically give a 55-minute live presentation, titled “Walkthrough.” This is the first North American museum exhibit to survey the work of the Lebanese artist.