Thursday, May 23, 2024



Aggregation No. 1“Awake” exhibit and “Selfies in Feminist Art” talk from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday at Gallery 263, 263 Pearl St., Cambridgeport. Free.

“Awake” is a two-person, three-part exhibition featuring Christina Balch and Gary Duehr that explores the unexceptional act of waking up in the morning. Balch and Duehr use photography and domestic objects to divulge their waking moments – Duehr through a series of “BedScapes” that use tousled sheets as an emotional barometer of a relationship and pillows embroidered with his poetry that reflect on identity and solitude.

Balch shows a 27-foot wall installation featuring hundreds of small self-portraits taken with her phone just as she wakes up each morning. Drawing inspiration from self-portraiture in feminist art, she’s chosen a daily moment when there “are no conscious preparations for a self-portrait,” gallery curators explain. She also invites visitors to participate in “You Are Awake” by using a provided phone to take a self-portrait reflected in a bathroom mirror set up in the gallery. Balch collects and adds prints of these “selfies” to the exhibit, which runs through March 8.

She expands on the concept Saturday with “Selfies in Feminist Art,” an artist talk and discussion that gives visitors a chance to talk about self-portraiture in feminist art and its relationship to the phenomenon of selfies in social media. Among other things, Balch asks how the selfie is changing photography and if the selfie is a legitimate art genre.

“Awake” and “You Are Awake” is also open to the public from noon to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. The Gallery 263 site is here.



Aggregation No. 2Fire & Ice: A Winter Festival in Union Square from 3 to 6 p.m. in Union Square, Somerville. Free.

This celebration of being cold and getting warm includes things to watch, do and eat – each with hot and cold categories. (And smores.)

For instance, entertainment includes ice sculptor Don Chapelle (who carves the sculptures seen at First Night Boston) and fire spinners A Different Spin. Black Magic Coffee and the Frozen Hoagie food truck will sell hot coffee and (cold) ice cream to outdoors festival participants. Kids can take part in ice bowling, sand art and a recycled lava lamp craft.

Take shelter and there’s more food: Casa B offers sancocho, lentil and caldo gallego soups; Ebi Sushi make its spicy Volcano Roll the daily special; The Independent sells a mescal cocktail called “Fire Walk With Me”; and El Potro serves spicy enchiladas rancheras and cerveza michelada, a spicy Mexican beer.


Aggregation No. 3Catch up on Oscar-nominated films. “Gravity” screens at 7 and 10 p.m. at MIT for $4. The year’s nominated live-action and animated short films are at Landmark Kendall Square Cinema, 355 Binney St., Kendall Square. Tickets are $11 general admission or $9 for matinees.

Chances are, you saw “Gravity” – it’s done $270 million in box office sales, atypical for a Best Picture nominee – but if you missed it or want to see it again before Sunday’s awards ceremony, launch yourself over to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Building 26-100, also known as the Compton Laboratories, at 60 Vassar St. for these showings by the MIT Lecture Series Committee.

For a little more money you can know who to root for in the Oscars’ shorts categories. The live action films show at 4 and 9:25 p.m., and the animated shorts are at 11 a.m., 1:30 and 6:55 p.m.



Aggregation No. 4Stay out late and party with either a Mardi Gras theme (starting at 9 p.m. Saturday at T.T. the Bear’s Place, 10 Brookline St., Central Square, for $14) or 1990s nostalgia theme (from 10 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday at Firebrand Saints, 1 Broadway, Kendall Square, for $10).

Just entering its third decade, Wolf’s Annual Mardi Gras Ball is your best chance at experiencing serious New Orleans-style music – the “quirky and seductive R&B from 1950s New Orleans,” in the words of organizer Shaun Wolf Wortis – at the right time. In addition to the Legendary Vudu Krewe band and instigators, this nationally heralded event has hosted guest stars ranging from Tanya Donelly and Holly Brewer to Gary Cherone and Adam Glasseye. This year the Krewe welcomes Abbie Barrett, Amber Casares, Will Dailey, Haley Jane and The Boston Babydolls burlesque troupe. All proceeds from the Mardi Gras Ball go to help musicians without health care. The event site is here.

Professional party-throwers Rapture Events call this Remember the Time: A ’90s Throwback Party “the ’90s party to end all ’90s parties” and urges you to come dressed up (overalls or jumpsuit, anyone?) and ready to dance (remember the Cabbage Patch, Roger Rabbit and Running Man?) and sing (Biggie, probably). There are prizes for best ’90s-themed costume, boy group (for instance, Nsync) and girl group (for instance, TLC) impersonators and best television character. The event site is here.



Aggregation No. 5

Somerville Builds: A Hands-On Kids Maker Event from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at Fringe, 9 Olive Square, Union Square, Somerville. Free.

Kids who love arts and crafts, technology and building stuff should also love this. Hands-on engineering activities include explorations and demonstrations of DIY/maker technologies such as Lego robotics, Squishy circuits and 3-D printing, and kids will be able to make projects with recycled materials they can bring home afterward – everything from electronics and comics to LED pop-up books and stop-motion animated movies can be explored and learned about in guided workshops. Local organizations including Parts and Crafts, MakerState and the Design Challenges team from the Museum of Science are taking part. Confirm participation here.