Explore the theme of life stories, featuring artist talks, performances, and participatory studio and gallery experiences. The innovative, experimental programming is inspired by the life stories we see illustrated in the Fra Angelico: Heaven on Earth exhibition, by Isabella’s life story—and by your own.

Programming for the Day

Fra Angelico: Heaven on Earth

Renaissance master Fra Angelico transformed the history of western art with his breathtaking works, rethinking popular compositions and investing traditional subjects with new meaning. Visit the exhibition and take inspiration from his ground-breaking narrative paintings to celebrate the art of storytelling.

Art-Making in the Studio - Throughout the Day

Objects of personal significance always have interesting stories to tell. Create a visual ode to an object you cherish and share its story with others.

Slideshow by Elisa H. Hamilton - 11:30 am - 4:30 pm

Community storytelling is one of the oldest human art forms and helps us build understanding, empathy, respect, and connection. In the Fall of 2017, Now + There commissioned artist Elisa H. Hamilton to create Slideshow, a multi-media project for HUBWeek on Boston's City Hall Plaza. Using photography, analog slides, and storytelling, Hamilton and ten other Boston-area women put their gutsy, generous, everyday lives on view. This group of entrepreneurs, activists, educators, and artists are the heart and soul of of Slideshow. On this day, they reunite to create an intimate, communal, story-sharing space at the Gardner Museum.

Artist Talk - 1 pm

The artistic practice of Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons combines diverse media including photography, performance, painting, sculpture, film, and video. In her talk, Campos-Pons will respond to the theme of life stories and to Fra Angelico's work.

Performance - 2 pm

Beatmaker, actor, teaching artist and musician Kadahj Bennett will perform a work-in-progress featuring character-heavy narratives, poetics, and projections. In a collection of songs, photos, and speeches, experience an explosion of perspectives.

Dance - 3 pm

Award-winning dancer and choreographer Marsha Parrilla will present a solo dance theater piece inspired by the Fra Angelico: Heaven on Earth exhibition. Maria Ancestral tells the story of Marsha's grandmother Maria—a strong, spiritual woman from Puerto Rico who bore seventeen children.

Talks and Gallery Activities - Throughout the Day

Enjoy spotlight talks on Fra Angelico's narrative paintings or participate in gallery activities that will help you find connections between your own life story and works of art in the Gardner's collection.

Studio Activities are made possible by the Polly Thayer Starr Charitable Trust. Support for the Fra Angelico: Heaven on Earth exhibition is provided in part by the Robert Lehman​ ​Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which receives funding from the State of Massachusetts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Media Sponsor: WBUR