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A Guide to Boston’s Best Autumn Events of 2013
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A Guide to Boston’s Best Autumn Events of 2013

Picture of Helen Brady
Updated: 9 February 2017
Autumn and winter is unquestionably one of the most beautiful seasons in New England, with the leaves changing colour across the stunning landscape, and Boston offers an exciting range of events to complement this nature beauty. From art exhibitions to street parades and book festivals – these are the best upcoming autumn and winter events for 2013 in the Massachusetts capital.

Art | Paolo Ventura – Behind the Walls Exhibition – Barbara Krakow Gallery

10 September 2013 – 19 October 2013

Barbara Krakow Gallery will host the first of Paolo Ventura’s exhibitions in Boston this coming autumn with the artist’s Behind the Walls series. Ventura’s work flirts with the idea of nostalgia and articulates memories of people we’ve left behind, lost times and former selves. Through focusing on ideas left unexplored and paths not taken, Ventura weaves fiction and memories until the two become indistinguishable. The Italian-born photographer creates scenes that evoke the past in a way that is surreal, rich and dream-like. An engaging hybrid, his creation of miniature sets (consisting of realistic dolls and props) is the subject of his photography which combines the strange logic of dreams with the sharpness of reality. Behind the Walls reimagines Ventura’s imagination — this fantasy city is the place he ‘knows best’, and was forced to create the location as one day he was ‘no longer able to dream it’. An intriguing and thought provoking artist, his work has been exhibited internationally — most notably in the Italian pavilion for 54th Venice Biennale.

Food | Taste of WGBH Food & Wine Festival 2013

19 September 2013 – 21 September 2013

The Taste of WGBH Food & Wine Festival welcomes thousands of guests to sample some of the best food and wine from New England’s best chefs, wineries and food purveyors. A staggering programme of one hundred types of wine from around the world is available to partner with the food on display at the Festival. With a gala, wine auction, seminars, cooking demonstrations, tasting and shopping in a farmers market, there are great activities for every guest. The WGBH Charity Wine Auction will include a preview showing and reception featuring selected fine wines, and food provided by a featured chef or restaurant. Following the preview, there will be a live auction and wine and food service will continue. The Sub-Zero & Wolf Celebrity Chef Cooking Stage gives visitors the chance to learn how these culinary artists produce their best dishes.

Art | American Gestures, Abstract Expressionism – Museum of Fine Arts

21 September 2013 – 1 June 2014

An exciting exhibition will be on display this coming fall at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. A combination of drawings, paintings, prints and sculpture by Abstract Expressionists will be showcased in an exhibition entitled American Gestures, Abstract Expressionism. The art scene within the USA in the 1940s and 1950s favoured spontaneity, accidents and revelling in the subconscious. Although the term primarily denotes a small nucleus of painters, the terms Action Painting or Abstract Expressionism were first coined in relation to the work of Wassily Kandinsky in 1929. The artists within the movement were linked by the concern to express themselves in an abstract manner, in order to convey strong expressive and emotional content. Artists featured include individuals such as Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell and Jackson Pollock, amongst many others. The art works in the exhibit span the years from the late 1940s to the 1970s, many of the works being recent acquisitions and some shown for the very first time. An unmissable event for lovers of Modern Art.

Music | Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival

28 September 2013

On Saturday the 28th of September, Columbus Avenue and Carter Playground will be transformed into a jazz lover’s dream with the Beantown Jazz Festival. Tens of thousands of music fans will congregate to experience this truly magical event. Featuring live jazz, Latin soul and blues — artists will simultaneously play on multiple stages around the venue. Food vendors also take on a varied international approach with Jamaican and Korean cuisine — shrimp, beef jerky and fried dough are available in abundance. This year, the festival will celebrate the theme ‘Jazz: The Next Generation’, with performances by some of the genre’s most acclaimed and upcoming artists including Grammy-nominated trumpeter Christian Scott, the Mike Tucker Trio featuring vibraphonist Warren Wolf and the Matt Savage Quartet featuring sax great Bobby Watson. Other performers include bands such as Meshell Ndegeocello, Will Calhoun Trio, led by the Grammy Award-winning alumnus and drummer of the band Living Colour, and Robin McKelle & the Flytones.

Art | Amy Sillman: one lump or two Exhibition – Institute of Contemporary Art Boston

3 October 2013 – January 5 2014

The exhibition Amy Sillman: one lump or two is the first museum survey of works for the New York-based artist Amy Sillman. The show at the Institute of Contemporary Art will trace the development of her artistic practice from the early use of cartoon figures and lively colour palette, to her exploration of the bodily and erotic dimensions of paint. Sillman affirms that her canvases are a physical process which she uses to ‘continue an interior dialogue’. A disarmingly intimate offering, her abstractions negotiate a space filled with ideas and feelings, inflected with emotional empathy. Her paint techniques mirror the unveiling of unconscious thoughts — textures such as rock rendered with the chalky texture of rubbings and birds and flowers with exaggerated cartoon features. A regular in many prominent art galleries and museums, her work has been featured in places such as the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Culture | Columbus Day Parade

14 October 2013

Boston will revisit an annual tradition this fall with the announcement that it will hold a Columbus Day parade on October 14th. In the past it was one of the city’s trademark events, but due to budget constraints has not been held in recent years. Columbus Day first became an official state holiday in Colorado in 1906, and became a federal holiday in the USA in 1936, though people have celebrated Christopher Columbus’ voyage since the colonial period. In 1792, New York City and other U.S. cities celebrated the 300th anniversary of his landing in the New World. The parade celebrates Boston’s Italian heritage, along with Columbus’s expeditions to the Americas and the commitment to the Massachusetts military units to American freedom. The huge Columbus Day Parade features an eclectic mix of military units, marching brass bands, Italian-Boston organisations, Duck Boat floats, politicians, entertainers and vintage automobiles. In odd numbered years like 2013 the parade begins in Boston and winds through the North End’s narrow streets — Atlantic Avenue, Hanover Street and Endicott.

Literature | Boston Book Festival

17 October 2013 – 19 October 2013

In its own words, the Boston Book Festival ‘celebrates the power of words to stimulate, agitate, unite, delight and inspire by holding year-round events culminating in an annual, free festival that promotes the culture of reading and ideas and enhances the vibrancy of our city.’ 2013 marks the fifth edition of the Boston Book Festival, and a number of special keynote speakers have been commissioned for the event. This year’s speakers include the award-winning novelist and essayist Salman Rushdie. Rushdie’s novels include The Satanic Verses and the Booker Prize-winning Midnight’s Children. With a gift for language, his talent at explicating the complexities of family and identity will be discussed in depth during the talk. For the children, the main keynote speaker is respected picture book author and illustrator, Tomie dePaola. Both Rushdie and dePaola will headline a thriving line-up of literature, which includes dozens of other authors who will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Art | Sophie Calle: Last Seen Exhibition – Barbara Krakow Gallery

24 October 2013 – 3 March 2014

Born in 1953, Sophie Calle has focused on investigating the provocative in her art since the late 1970s. Well-known for revealing her psychological and emotional life, her artistic explorations detail the nuances in human relationships. One work saw the artist following a stranger on the streets of Venice, documenting his every move; another featured Calle working as a chambermaid in order to photograph the belongings of the hotel’s guests. The fourteen text and photographic based works in Last Seen consist of two distinct series. The first created in 1991 is a series of photographs and texts created shortly after the 1990 theft of the Gardner Museum, during which many objects were stolen from a museum. The second part includes new work, which Sophie Calle made in 2012 at the Museum whilst revisiting an earlier project. Calle’s work has been shown in international venues including Paris’s Palais de Tokyo, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the Centre Georges Pompidou, amongst others. Don’t miss this fascinating exhibition, which explores the artificial nature of documentary and evidence.

Film | Boston Film Festival

25 October 2013 – 29 October 2013

2013 celebrates the 29th edition of the Boston Film Festival (BFF). With screens featuring many genres such as comedy, drama, suspense, biological, romantic, animated and many more — there is something for everyone to enjoy at the BFF. Dedicated to supporting evolving filmmakers, the festival provides a forum in which to showcase their artistic vision. The Boston Film Festival is one of America’s longest running and most recognised celebrations of film; with a rich history of premiering some of Hollywood’s most revered films and hosting renowned filmmakers and actors including Uma Thurman, George Clooney and Val Kilmer, amongst others. The diverse programme of feature films, shorts and documentaries will delight the cutting-edge directors and studio filmmakers who frequent the festival. With a spectrum of awards presented annually, new and unusual categories have been added in order to showcase the best talent. The ‘Mass Impact Award’ is given to a filmmaker whose movie illuminates a social issue that most positively affects humanity. With first-hand access to the filmmakers and Q&A sessions with the director following every screening, it’s a must for film lovers this October.

Film | The Boston Jewish Film Festival

6 November 2013 – 18 November 2013

The Boston Jewish Film Festival presents the best in contemporary films from around the world on Jewish themes at its annual event. Through features, documentaries, shorts and conversations with visiting artists; the festival explores Jewish identity, the current Jewish experience and the richness of Jewish culture in relation to a diverse modern world. In the past twenty-five years the festival has presented over 1,000 films – many of them US or Massachusetts premieres – and welcomed more than 250,000 audience members. Founded by filmmaker Michal Goldman in 1989, The Boston Jewish Film Festival has grown from 10 screenings to more than 50 at the Boston and Brookline venues, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Coolidge Corner Theatre. Many of the films have gone on to be nominated for or to win Academy Awards, including The Pianist, Nowhere in Africa and The Personals. Inviting audiences from around the world, the festival aims to introduce the artist’s films, answer questions and participate in panel discussions. Along with these activities, many live events are offered from pre-screening music, to new scores to accompany silent films, to fully-fledged post-screening concerts and dance performances.

By Helen Brady