Art

Revere Beach Kite Festival, May 17, 2015. (Greg Cook)

Recommended: Kite Fest • Faces Of AIDS • Lasers • John Waters • Stop Abortion Ban Rallies

May 18 to 15, 2019: Pictured above: Revere Beach Kite Festival, May 17, 2015. (Greg Cook) If this is the kind…

Stephanie Benenson's "Im|Migration" at Salem's Punto Urban Art Museum, May 11, 2019. (Greg Cook)

A Laser Show To Celebrate Local Immigrants’ Stories … And Confront Stigma

NOTE: I’ve been commissioned by the Essex County Community Foundation to help document/promote cultural projects from its Creative County Initiative,…

Gordon Parks "Harlem Rally, Harlem, New York," 1963 Gelatin Silver Print. (Courtesy of the Gordon Parks Foundation)

Gordon Parks’ Camera ‘Was My Choice Of Weapons Against … Racism, Intolerance And Poverty’

The year after the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott, Life magazine asked Gordon Parks to travel to Alabama to photograph the…

J. R. R. Tolkien, Dust jacket design for "The Hobbit," April 1937, pencil, black ink, watercolor, gouache. (© The Tolkien Estate Limited)

How Tolkien Envisioned ‘The Hobbit’ And ‘Lord Of The Rings’

In the fall of 1936, as the first edition of “The Hobbit” was in production, its author, J.R.R. Tolkien, gave…

“Resonance,” a mural by Super A (Stefan Thelen), in progress on Boston's Greenway in Dewey Square, April 29, 2019. (Greg Cook)

First Look At The New Mural Going Up On Boston’s Greenway

On Saturday, Dutch artist Stefan Thelen—known by his anti-superhero identity Super A—began painting a mural depicting a barn swallow crashing…

Optical illusion crosswalk painted by Nate Swain at Medford’s Brooks Elementary School, April 20, 2019. (Greg Cook)

This New Crosswalk Is An Optical Illusion To (Hopefully) Slow Cars

The question was how to slow traffic around Medford’s Brooks Elementary School to make it safer for students. Last year,…

“The Elma Lewis 2018 Women in Community Arts Collectors Edition Trading Cards” set created by Neil Horsky. (Courtesy)

Honoring Women Arts Leaders In Boston With A Set Of Trading Cards

“The Elma Lewis 2018 Women in Community Arts Collectors Edition Trading Cards” set was created by Boston artist Neil Horsky…

Alexandre Hogue, "Crucified Land", 1939. Oil on canvas. (Courtesy Peabody Essex Museum)

'Nature's Nation': Digging Into American Art For A More Honest History Of Our Relationship To The Land

“In some districts, where twenty-five years ago they were plentiful, scarcely any are now to be seen,” the American ornithologist…

Holy Land USA in Waterbury, Connecticut, April 18, 2019. (Greg Cook)

Plans Underway To Resurrect Waterbury’s Holy Land USA

It was drizzling lightly on Thursday afternoon, a few days before Easter, when we drove up to Holy Land USA…

Second Line Social Aid & Pleasure Society Brass Band performs at Somerville's Quincy Street Open Space as part of the annual PorchFest, May 13, 2018. (Greg Cook)

Somerville PorchFest: Wonderland’s Totally Biased Guide To This Saturday's Music Fest

Somerville’s annual PorchFest is part hootenanny, part a giant open studios for bands. More than 200 bands acts are scheduled…

Rehearsal for “The Unicorn, The Gorgon and The Manticore” and “A Medieval Bestiary” performed by Metropolitan Chorale and Puppet Showplace Theater at First Church, Cambridge, May 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)

Unicorns! Gorgons! Manticores! In Metropolitan Chorale's Collaboration With Puppet Showplace Theater

Unicorns, gorgons and other fantastical creatures abound in the Metropolitan Chorale’s performance of Gian Carlo Menotti’s “The Unicorn, The Gorgon…

Jackie Shane, 1967. (Numero Group)

Transgender Soul Music Pioneer Jackie Shane Recorded Her Biggest Hit In 1960s Boston

Jackie Shane—the electrifying soul singer, black cult heroine, and transgender pioneer—died this week in Nashville at age 78. “Any Other…

“Space is the Place Film Still,” 1974, by Jim Newman. “Sun Ra and his mysterious mirror-faced companion in Golden Gate Park. The photo is from the opening sequence of the film in which Sun Ra wanders a lush unspecified planet and outlines his theory on how we can move through space propelled by music, a theoretical way of travel he calls ‘trans-molecularization.’” (Courtesy Portland Art Museum)

The Earth Expedition Of Sun Ra, Jazz Visionary And Afrofuturist Pioneer

“There’s no limit to the things that you can do,” go the lyrics to jazz visionary Sun Ra’s “Space Is…

Cliff Notez performs at Hojoko at the Verb Hotel, May 18, 2018. (Greg Cook)

Winners Of 2018 Boston Music Awards

Below are the winners of the 2018 Boston Music Awards, which were announced at Boston’s House of Blues on Dec.…

Minor Mishap Marching Band from Austin, Texas, in the Honk Parade, Oct. 7, 2018. (Greg Cook)

Photos: Honk Festival Parade 2018

In this afternoon’s Honk Parade, dozens of bands and activist and community groups marched from Davis Square in Somerville to…

Patricia Marx And Roz Chast's 'Why Don't You Write My Eulogy Now So I Can Correct It?' (Celadon Books)

Patricia Marx And Roz Chast's 'Why Don't You Write My Eulogy Now So I Can Correct It?'

Patricia Marx and Roz Chast have a delicious premise for their slim illustrated humor/advice book “Why Don’t You Write My…

Aunt Lydia (Caroline Worra) leads the handmaids in Boston Lyric Opera’s production of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” running through May 12, 2019. (Photo: Liza Voll)

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’: A Walking Tour Of The Novel’s Cambridge Settings

Margaret Atwood was living in West Berlin in 1984, the city still divided by the Berlin Wall, when she began…

J. R. R. Tolkien, Dust jacket design for "The Hobbit," April 1937, pencil, black ink, watercolor, gouache. (© The Tolkien Estate Limited)

How Tolkien Envisioned ‘The Hobbit’ And ‘Lord Of The Rings’

In the fall of 1936, as the first edition of “The Hobbit” was in production, its author, J.R.R. Tolkien, gave…

From "Johnny Boo is King!" by James Kochalka. (Top Shelf Productions)

‘Johnny Boo Is King!’ In New Kids Graphic Novel From (Former) Vermont Cartoonist Laureate James Kochalka

“Johnny Boo Is King!,” the new graphic novel for kids from James Kockalka, the former Cartoonist Laureate of Vermont, begins…

Illustration by Greg Cook

Interview: Guy Gavriel Kay On His New Novel ‘A Brightness Long Ago,’ Tolkien, Reimagining History

In Guy Gavriel Kay’s latest novel “A Brightness Long Ago” (due out from Viking May 14), Count Uberto, dubbed “The…

Robert Caro on the cover of his new book "Working." (Courtesy Knopf)

Historian Robert Caro's ‘Working’ Methods: Dig Through Archives, Wear Ties, Silence

When Robert Caro, the legendary political journalist-historian, was a young investigative reporter at the crusading, liberal New York newspaper Newsday,…

Bread and Puppet Theater performs “Diagonal Life: Theory and Praxis” at Beneficent Congregational Church, Providence, May 10, 2019. (Greg Cook)

Bread and Puppet Theater’s ‘Diagonal Life’ Addresses Politics, Migration, Global Warming

Three large brown papier-mâché puppets arrive on the blue curtained stage early on in Bread and Puppet Theater’s “Diagonal Life:…

Rehearsal for “The Unicorn, The Gorgon and The Manticore” and “A Medieval Bestiary” performed by Metropolitan Chorale and Puppet Showplace Theater at First Church, Cambridge, May 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)

Unicorns! Gorgons! Manticores! In Metropolitan Chorale's Collaboration With Puppet Showplace Theater

Unicorns, gorgons and other fantastical creatures abound in the Metropolitan Chorale’s performance of Gian Carlo Menotti’s “The Unicorn, The Gorgon…

“Leonora & Alejandro: La Maga y el Maestro," a rehearsal by Double Edge Theatre at their Farm Center in Ashfield, April 1, 2019. (Greg Cook)

Leonora Carrington’s Magic Realist Paintings Come Alive at Double Edge Theatre

“Leonora & Alejandro: La Maga y el Maestro”—presented by Double Edge Theatre at their Farm Center in Ashfield from April…

American Repertory Theater at Harvard's Loeb Drama Center on Brattle Street, Cambridge. (Greg Cook)

Is Harvard’s American Repertory Theater Leaving Cambridge?

A $100 million donation “will enable Harvard to imagine a 21st-century research and performance center in Allston,” the Cambridge university…

“Ajijaak on Turtle Island” by Heather Henson and IBEX Puppetry. (Photo: Richard Termine)

‘Ajijaak On Turtle Island,’ Heather Henson’s Puppet Spectacle With Indigenous Roots

“Ajijaak on Turtle Island”—by Heather Henson (daughter of Muppets creator Jim Henson) and IBEX Puppetry—is an environmental fable, Henson says,…

“Babylon: Journeys of Refugees” by Sandglass Theater: The Man from Syria. (Photo: Kiqe Bosch)

Sandglass Theater’s Refugee Stories: ‘Is It Our Responsibility To Help Everyone?’

Woven through “Babylon: Journeys of Refugees” by Sandglass Theater is a version of the American debate about immigrants and migrants…

Macon Reed, "A Pressing Conference," 2017 to present, at Amherst College, 2019. (Photo: Greg Cook)

A Cartoon White House Briefing Room For Speaking Your Mind

At the end of Amherst College’s Eli Marsh Gallery in Fayerweather Hall is Macon Reed’s recreation of the White House…

Pirkle Jones, "Black Panthers from Sacramento, Free Huey Rally, Bobby Hutton Memorial Park, Oakland, CA," August 25, 1968. (Courtesy University of California, Santa Cruz)

Black Panthers 1968: Selections From A Major Photo Archive in San Francisco

“A lot of people tried to talk us out of it,” Pirkle Jones told The New York Times in December…

Mo Willems, "2018 On the Brain." (Courtesy R. Michelson Galleries)

How ‘Pigeon’ And ‘Elephant & Piggie’ Author Mo Willems Protested In 2018

Mo Willems has won Caldecott Honors three times for his picture books for children—beginning with 2003’s “Don’t Let the Pigeon…

Maghrib (evening) prayer during the “Candlelight Vigil for Victims of the New Zealand Mosque Attacks." at Cambridge City Hall, March 19, 2019. (Greg Cook)

Vigil for Victims of New Zealand Mosque Attacks: ‘That Could Have Been Me’

“That could have been me. That could have been my brother. That could have been my own family,” Farida Moustafa…

Youth Climate Strike at Massachusetts State House, Boston, March 15, 2019. (Greg Cook)

Youth Climate Strike: 'Climate Now, School Later'

“Hey, hey, ho, ho! Climate change has got to go,” chanted hundreds of people at the Youth Climate Strike at…

Crayon guns from “One Gun Gone” project. (Courtesy Scott Lapham)

'One Gun Gone': Turning Guns Into Art To Buy More Guns Off The Street

For years, Providence photographer and sculptor Scott Lapham has taught art to teens and young adults. “Four of my students…

Holy Land USA in Waterbury, Connecticut, April 18, 2019. (Greg Cook)

Plans Underway To Resurrect Waterbury’s Holy Land USA

It was drizzling lightly on Thursday afternoon, a few days before Easter, when we drove up to Holy Land USA…

A Good Friday Stations of the Cross pageant for Easter performed in the neighborhood around Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross, April 19, 2019. (Greg Cook)

Photos: Roman Catholic Easter Pageant Reenacts Jesus’ Execution

Roman Catholics in Boston marked Good Friday today, the prelude to Easter, with a live Stations of the Cross, or…

Hershey’s Chocolate World: Riding The Free Chocolate Tour

Is it a roller coaster? “No,” replies the patient ride attendant at the free, 30-minute “Hershey’s Chocolate Tour” at Hershey’s…

Woodpecker, March 12, 2019. (Greg Cook)

Woodpecker

Photo copyright 2019 Greg Cook. If this is the kind of coverage of arts, cultures and activisms you appreciate, please…

Celebrating Holi in an event organized by the Boston University Hindu Student Council, March 30, 2019. (Greg Cook)

Photos: Celebrating Holi, The Hindu Festival Of Colors, At Boston University

Holi is “the Hindu Festival of Colors which celebrates the arrival of Spring,” the Boston University Hindu Student Council writes.…

Purim Party at Gloucester's Temple Ahavat Achim, March 20, 2019. (Greg Cook)

In Gloucester, Celebrating Purim With Costumes, Stories And Beer: ‘It Is A Mitzvah’

As is traditional, the families gathered at Gloucester’s Temple Ahavat Achim for their annual celebration of the Jewish holiday of…

A Good Friday Stations of the Cross pageant for Easter performed in the neighborhood around Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross, April 19, 2019. (Greg Cook)

Photos: Roman Catholic Easter Pageant Reenacts Jesus’ Execution

Roman Catholics in Boston marked Good Friday today, the prelude to Easter, with a live Stations of the Cross, or…

Celebrating Holi in an event organized by the Boston University Hindu Student Council, March 30, 2019. (Greg Cook)

Photos: Celebrating Holi, The Hindu Festival Of Colors, At Boston University

Holi is “the Hindu Festival of Colors which celebrates the arrival of Spring,” the Boston University Hindu Student Council writes.…

Purim Party at Gloucester's Temple Ahavat Achim, March 20, 2019. (Greg Cook)

In Gloucester, Celebrating Purim With Costumes, Stories And Beer: ‘It Is A Mitzvah’

As is traditional, the families gathered at Gloucester’s Temple Ahavat Achim for their annual celebration of the Jewish holiday of…

Purim shpil performed at Gragger!5779 at SEIU 32BJ Meeting Hall in Boston, March 16, 2019. (Greg Cook)

Gragger Retells The Jewish Purim Tale As A Radical, Queer Burlesque

Gragger—Boston Workmen’s Circle’s annual, grown-up “evening of gender-bending, ancestral-healing, world-transforming Purim festivities”—is named for the clacker or rattle traditionally used…

Pableaux Johnson, "Sudan SAPC," 2010. (Courtesy Fowler Museum, UCLA)

New Orleans Second Line Parades Photographed By Pableaux Johnson

“My goal with these photographs is to capture in a single frame what it feels like to be in the…

Lion Dance by Wah Lum Kung Fu and Tai Chi Academy during Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration at Malden High School, Jan. 26, 2019. (Greg Cook)

Photos: Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration In Malden

Chinese Culture Connection hosted its annual Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration at Malden High School on Jan. 26, 2019. All…

“Resonance,” a mural by Super A (Stefan Thelen), in progress on Boston's Greenway in Dewey Square, April 29, 2019. (Greg Cook)

First Look At The New Mural Going Up On Boston’s Greenway

On Saturday, Dutch artist Stefan Thelen—known by his anti-superhero identity Super A—began painting a mural depicting a barn swallow crashing…

Optical illusion crosswalk painted by Nate Swain at Medford’s Brooks Elementary School, April 20, 2019. (Greg Cook)

This New Crosswalk Is An Optical Illusion To (Hopefully) Slow Cars

The question was how to slow traffic around Medford’s Brooks Elementary School to make it safer for students. Last year,…

Eileen de Rosas’s temporary mural on Arlington’s Fox Library. (Greg Cook)

Fox, Bear And Deer Mural Is Part Of The Public Art Sprouting In Arlington

Families of fox and bears and deer meander around the brick exterior of Arlington’s Fox Library in Eileen de Rosas’s…

Design for “The Embrace” by Hank Willis Thomas and MASS Design Group for Boston Common. (Courtesy King Boston)

Monumental Hugging Arms Selected As Memorial To MLK On Boston Common

“The Embrace”—a pair of monumental hugging arms—has been selected to become a memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta…

Joan Jonas "Blue to Blue" banner on facade of Gardner Museum, Feb. 1, 2019. (Greg Cook)

Pioneering Video And Performance Artist Joan Jonas Draws At The Gardner

During Joan Jonas’s 2017 residency at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the pioneering 82-year-old video and performance artist found herself…

Citgo sign in Boston's Kenmore Square, March 29, 2013. (Greg Cook)

Walsh To Veto Landmark Status For Citgo Sign As Real Estate Deal Protects It

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh will veto the Boston Landmarks Commission’s vote to grant landmark status to the Citgo sign in…

Woodpecker, March 12, 2019. (Greg Cook)

Woodpecker

Photo copyright 2019 Greg Cook. If this is the kind of coverage of arts, cultures and activisms you appreciate, please…

Mars photo booth at “Space: An Out-of-Gravity Experience" at Boston’s Museum of Science. (Greg Cook)

The 5-Year-Old’s Guide To ‘Space’ At Boston’s Museum Of Science

Twice this fall, the 5-Year-Old visited “Space: An Out-of-Gravity Experience,” which is on view at Boston’s Museum of Science through Jan.…

Jewel beetles in the “The Rockefeller Beetles” exhibition at Harvard's Museum of Natural History in Cambridge. (Greg Cook)

The Dazzling ‘Rockefeller Beetles’ Debut At Harvard’s Natural History Museum

The earth is home to 450,000 species of beetles, Brian Farrell, the Harvard University professor and curator of entomology, told…

Northern Strand Bike Trail between Lincoln Avenue and Summer Street in Lynn, Massachusetts, Oct. 10, 2018. (Greg Cook)

Fall Bike Ride: Through Lynn Marshes Via The Northern Strand Community Trail

Between Lincoln Avenue and Summer Street in Lynn, there is a dirt stretch of the “Bike to the Sea” Northern…

Dogwood seedling from Starting Over Festival sprouting. May 31, 2018. (Greg Cook)

Dogwood Seedling From Starting Over Festival Sprouts

At the Starting Over Festival that I helped organize in Somerville on April 22, we gave out seedlings. A month…

Alewife migrating upstream at the Upper Mystic Lake Dam fish ladder in Winchester, Massachusetts, May 27, 2018. (Greg Cook)

Photos: Alewife Migrating Upstream Along Mystic Lake

Alewife migrating upstream at the Upper Mystic Lake Dam fish ladder in Winchester, Massachusetts, May 27, 2018. Photos copyright Greg…