The University’s Museum of Contemporary Art

The University Museum of Contemporary Art lies in the heart of the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus. The gallery is located in the bottom portion of the very recognizable Fine Arts Center. A large glass atrium with colorful glowing lights invites visitors in, and all are welcome.

The current exhibit: Du Bois: In Our Time, opened on September 10th just in time for the new school year. It focuses on the life and works of the civil rights activist W.E.B. Dubois, whom the library on campus is named after. He has a special connection to campus because of this, but it was not the main reason why he was focused on.

Eva Fierst is the Education Curator at the Museum and she is nothing less than excited about the exhibit finally coming together.

One of the more interesting things about this exhibit is that it does not showcase only one artist. 10 artists have created original works strictly for this showcase and they come from right around the corner in Massachusetts and as far away as London and West Africa.

One can learn a vast amount about the life of Du Bois from this gallery, and in order for this to be possible, it took more than just the artists’ and museum curators’ hard work.

This exhibit can be seen until December 8 of 2013 and there is so much to tell about it. But of course, it is an experience that is better seen than heard.

The university museum first started 30 years ago as a place for art students to view original works. It was thought that it would be better for them to see works of art in person, rather than just reading about them and seeing prints in a textbook. But things quickly evolved.

The Museum, although focusing on art of the current era, is pushing the envelope, and showing that the issues of centuries ago are still relevant today, and can still be addressed in art that was made only a few weeks ago. The Du Bois: in our time exhibit shows just that. It blends history, present and knowledge together through art.


Street Level Sounds are produced by New England Public Radio interns as part of AudioFiles. The interviews, anecdotes, and oral histories recorded for Street Level Sounds are designed to build a public library of the western New England experience, and are not intended as news content, or endorsements by NEPR’s staff or Board. For more information on Street Level Sounds, contact AudioFiles producer, Peter Chilton.

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