The best things in life are free: Art spaces around Boston

Izzy Meyers, Editor-in-chief


Edwin Austin Abbey’s murals on display at the Boston Public Library’s central branch. Izzy Meyers / Sagamore Staff

The Boston Public Library’s main branch features a collection of murals by artist Edwin Austin Abbey, which was first installed in 1902. Each of the murals in the gallery depicts a scene from the legend of Sir Galahad’s quest to find the Holy Grail. The paintings span the entirety of each wall in the room and are mounted against dark wood panelling and ornate, nonfunctional fireplaces.

The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway is a series of urban parks that stretches from the North End park, located right by the Haymarket subway station, to the Chinatown park. The greenway contains public art by local artists and art students from the Virginia Tech School of Architecture. One of the largest installations, called A Translation From One Language to Another, was painted by artist Lawrence Weiner. The painting, which is simply the title of the piece against an electric teal background, takes up the entire Greenway Wall, which is multiple stories tall. Another prominent installation, called Harbor Fog, senses when visitors pass through and emits billows of fog and displays LED lights each time they walk by.

Izzy Meyers / Sagamore Staff
Lawrence Weiner’s “A Translation From One Language to Another” is displayed on a large building at the end of the greenway near South Station in Boston. Izzy Meyers / Sagamore Staff



Izzy Meyers / Sagamore Staff
A painting by artist Domingo Barreres is displayed at the Brookline Arts Center. Izzy Meyers / Sagamore Staff

The Brookline Arts Center, which offers classes for kids and adults in various artistic mediums, is currently displaying works by painter Domingo Barreres. His portraits depict aristocrats and religious figures posing against a somber background. While many of the paintings are only in muted colors, some sparingly use bold flashes of red, in stark contrast with their backdrops. During other months, the Brookline Arts Center gallery hosts Artist Marketplaces for local artists to sell their work and displays student artwork created in their classes.


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A drawing by Otis Meehan is on display in the high school’s art gallery. Izzy Meyers / Sagamore Staff


A chalkboard infographic shows how human pollution causes jellyfish infestations. Cleo Falvey / Sagamore Staff
A chalkboard infographic, part of the Trouble with Jellyfish gallery at Le Laboratoire, illustrates how human pollution causes jellyfish infestations. Cleo Falvey / Sagamore Staff

Le Laboratoire, a modern art and design center in Cambridge, is currently displaying The Trouble with Jellyfish, an educational installation by Mark Dion and Lisa-Ann Gershwin. This free and interactive gallery focuses on how human pollution has led to low-oxygen conditions in the ocean, which are toxic for many organisms, except for jellyfish. The jellyfishes’ resilience and hardiness has led to the overpopulation of the ocean with these animals. In the gallery, visitors walk through an ornate salon decorated with vintage scientific drawings of jellyfish, observe live moon jellies provided by the New England Aquarium, watch a 10-minute informational video by marine biologist Lisa-Ann Gershwin, and can even experience low-oxygen conditions for themselves by holding a special mask, which reduces the flow of oxygen, up to their nose and mouth.

Cleo Falvey contributed reporting.