As the academic semester comes to a close, we're celebrating final projects and performances by student artists, musicians and filmmakers. Take in a recital by student musicians this afternoon, May 1. See original films by FAMS majors on May 3. Enjoy an exhibition of works by studio art majors through May 18. And take in a new, student-curated exhibition at the Beneski Museum of Natural History through May 20.

Another reason to celebrate: garden days are here again! Gardeners at all experience levels are invited to help bring new life to the historic Dickinson landscape, May 4-7. The Emily Dickinson Museum’s three acres are home to beds of old-fashioned flowers, fine specimen trees and an heirloom orchard where a certain poet would be pleased to “keep the Sabbath, staying at Home.”

Here’s a closer look at these and additional events and exhibits, this month at Amherst.

Student Films & Performances

Music students

Today, May 1, hear new music composed by students in the courses Music 388 and Music 269, performed at 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. respectively. Performances take place in Buckley Recital Hall in the Arms Music Center, and are free and open to all.

Celebrate Film & Media Studies graduating seniors on Thursday, May 3, from 12 to 2 p.m. in Frost Library Room 210. Watch films by talented senior film students and enjoy refreshments and cake. All students, staff and faculty are welcome.

The annual Choral Society Commencement Concert takes place Saturday, May 19, at 9:15 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall in the Arms Music Center. Hear Amherst’s choral ensembles perform Renaissance madrigals and Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with collaborative pianist Benjamin Tibbets. Tickets are $10 for general public; $5 for senior citizens, students and children 12 and under; and free for Five College students with ID.

Garden Days

Garden Days

By sharing their time and talents, garden volunteers at all experience levels bring new life to the historic landscape surrounding the Emily Dickinson Museum. This month, the museum’s gardener-in-residence Marta McDowell hosts a meet and greet on Friday, May 4, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. for all interested garden volunteers. Then, drop-in garden days are Saturday, May 5, from 9 a.m. to 1p.m. and Sunday, May 6, from 1 to 5 p.m. A variety of work is available for experienced gardeners as well as those still cultivating their green thumbs.

On Saturday, May 5, at 7 p.m. at the museum, join McDowell for an illustrated talk exploring the development of American landscaping in the 19th century. Cost is $12 for adults, $8 for Museum Friends and free for participants of Volunteer Garden Days.

The following day, May 6, botanist Connie Parks hosts "Dear to the moss": Emily Dickinson Wildflower Walk from 9:45 a.m. to 12 p.m. The walk begins at the Emily Dickinson Museum and continues to the Amethyst Brook Conservation Area. Participants will explore Amherst’s fields and woods and encounter wildflowers Dickinson pressed in her herbarium and preserved in her poetry. Cost is $10 for adults, $8 for Museum Friends and $6 for participants of Volunteer Garden Days.


Eli Marsh exhibit

Did you know the Emily Dickinson Museum hosts an Arts Night Open Mic, Reading and Pop-Up Art Exhibition on the first Thursday night of the month? Now you do! Visit this Thursday, May 3, from 5 to 8 p.m. and enjoy a pop-up display of poem books, a step performance and readings, followed by an open mic. The event is part of the Town of Amherst’s Arts Night Plus, and is free and open to all.

Also on Thursday, May 3, celebrate the opening of “You Can't Read this Book!” at 6 p.m. in Frost Library. The exhibition is curated by students in the “Books That Bind” course, and includes books and related objects that have been hidden, banned, lost or never-opened.

Stop by the Studio Senior Honors Exhibition in the Eli Marsh Gallery in Fayerweather Hall through May 18 to see paintings, sculpture and video works by studio art seniors Young-Ji Cho ’18, Miriam De La Riva Ovalle ’18, Cami Dominguez ’18 and An Hoang ’18.

Learn about the five mass extinctions that have ravaged planet Earth and the theories on how they were caused in On Today’s Horizon: Mass Extinction. Curated by Antonella Dominguez ’18, the exhibition provides a context for mass extinctions of the past, present and future, and remains on view through Commencement on May 20.

Also on view this month:

  • Illuminate by Amanda Tobin ’17 invites viewers to ponder light, darkness, beauty, hope and wonder via narratives of color, material and form. It remains on view in the Frost Library Mezzanine and Beyond Words galleries through May 31.
  • Constructing A New World: The Soviet Experiment, 1920s-30s features works by a wide range of Russian artists inspired by the Bolshevik Revolution. It remains on view in the Russian Center Art Gallery, located in the Amherst Center for Russian Culture on the 2nd floor of Webster Hall, through June 23
  • HOUSE: Selections from the Collection of John and Sue Wieland presents interpretations of the house in various mediums by international artists. It remains on view at the Mead through July 1. Tour the exhibition with Mead Director & Chief Curator David E. Little on Saturday, May 26, at 10:15 a.m.
  • Fragmented Identities: The Gendered Roles of Women in Art Through the Ages showcases works that examine the ways in which women have been depicted or represented themselves across media, centuries, and the globe. It remains on view at the Mead through July 1. Tour the exhibition with Curator of American Art Vanja Malloy on Thursday, May 24, at 10:30 a.m.
  • New Publics: Art for a Modern India, 1960s–90s, presents drawings, paintings and sculpture that complicate the recent history of art from India. It remains on view at the Mead through July 1.
Mead exhibition

Check out the Arts Calendar

Amherst’s Arts Calendar features the latest information about these and additional arts & museum events on campus.

Mead gallery

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