When ArtWeek began in 2013, organizers at the Highland Street Foundation had no idea their plans would eventually include over 530 events in six regions of Massachusetts. The festival’s size has doubled since last year.
“Not only does ArtWeek provide hundreds of free and affordable creative events, it also spotlights the rich cultural community that exists across Massachusetts,” says Josiah Spaulding, president of the Boch Center.
With so much to see and just 10 days to do it all, we’ve handpicked some of our favorites to drop by. Here are nine events you don’t want to miss when ArtWeek returns this weekend.
What to see
Chinatown Mural Tour
The newest mural in Chinatown Phillips Square has images of dim sum, garment factories from the 1900s and the MBTA orange line. It’s an artistic response to increasing housing prices and the displacement of long-time Chinatown businesses and residents. See this mural plus other public art installments that tell the history behind this Boston neighborhood.
April 28, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., China Trade Building, 2 Boylston St., Boston, $15, chsne.org
ARLines of the City
Join Brazilian artist Giovanna Casimiro at the Greenway Conservancy for a mind-bending demonstration of augmented reality. If you bring your phone or tablet, you’ll be able to view Casimiro’s virtual display of murals from her home city of Sao Paulo staged around the park.
April 28, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. and May 4, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy Essex St., Boston, free, bostoncyberarts.org
Technology and the experimental arts interact in this one-off exhibit. Test out “All The Pardons,” an app that instructs people on when they should get off their phone, or immerse yourself in a virtual experience of powerful emotions like grief and anger through EmotiVR.
May 3, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m., CIC Boston, 50 Milk St., Boston, free, cicartsweek.splashthat.com
90-Second Newbery Film Festival
There’s no youth version of the Oscars, but this festival comes pretty close. Watch 90-second videos from young filmmakers with their takes on classic books like “A Wrinkle in Time”and “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.”
April 28, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m., Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., Boston, free, 90secondnewbery.com
Sneaker Museum pop-up exhibit
Since the ’80s, Rick Kosow has amassed 1,000 of some of the most coveted sneakers of all time, 800 of which are pairs of Nike Air Jordans. He probably won’t let you try them on, but you can ask Kosow about his obsession yourself at a meet and greet on May 2 from 5:30 – 7 p.m.
April 27 – May 6, Royal Sonesta Boston, 40 Edwin H Land Blvd., Cambridge, free, sneakermuseum.com
What to hear
Opening evening at The Wauregan
The Holyoke Creative Arts Center, a warehouse space for local artists, will open their studios to the public during this evening of exhibits, tours and music. Grab drinks from their pop-up bar, hosted by Brooklyn-based mixologist Rueology.
April 27, 7 p.m. – 12 a.m., The Wauregan, 420 Dwight St., Holyoke, free, holyokecac.org
One Night in Wakanda
It’s “Wakanda forever” at this gathering of musicians and creatives in celebration of South African arts and diasporic culture. Led by R&B vocalist and artist-In-residence at Dunamis Neo Gcabo, performers will showcase the sights and sounds of their cultures.
May 3, 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., Lincoln Plaza, 89 South St., Boston, $15, dumaisboston.org
What to eat
Make your way to the Cape for a feast of writer Ernest Hemingway’s favorite recipes, including salmon rillettes with brioche toast, shrimp marinated in blood oranges and salad nicoise. You can drink like Hemingway, too, at this BYOB dining experience.
April 30, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., Cultural Center of Cape Cod, 307 Old Main St., South Yarmouth, $40, cultural-center.org
The Art of Pairing
Some things shouldn’t be enjoyed alone. Bauer Wine believes that for every dish, there is a perfect beverage complement. This event on Newbury Street introduces you to the decadent duos of Tenure Peach Fizz with pulled pork sliders, rosemary rhubarb lemonade with cornbread and a cold brew martini with pecan pie.
April 28, 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Bauer Wine and Spirits, 330 Newbury St., Boston, free, bauerwines.com