8 Art Exhibits To Explore This Summer

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Summer is here and the sun is shining again, not only on our revived social lives, but also in the art world.

After more than a year of interruptions, thanks to pandemic restrictions, museum exhibits and gallery openings have finally resumed full force. In fact, exhibition schedules seem more jam-packed than ever as many venues eagerly make up for the canceled shows of last year.

And so, there’s lots of art to see. At the MFA, you can see the work of Roxbury artist and activist Ekua Holmes, whose colorful book illustrations will be on view beginning in July, as well as the recently-acquired work of local artists — including Dana C. Chandler Jr., Alison Croney Moses, Eben Haines, Stephen Hamilton, Tomashi Jackson and Lavaughan Jenkins — in conversation with older selections from the museum’s permanent collection. Outside of town, you can take in an experimental maritime film by Peter Hutton at the Peabody Essex Museum before the show ends in July, and at the Fitchburg Art Museum, you have until September to savor the dreamily comic and surreal paintings of New Hampshire artist Nathan Bentley. Below are a few places to start to quench your thirst for art this summer.

Through Oct. 31

Can old geezers still be “sexy”?

Samantha Nye strives to move beyond ageist ideas of sexuality and eroticism using the power of video. Recreating the type of 1950s and ‘60s 16 mm films played on Scopitone jukeboxes (a forerunner to MTV, YouTube and TikTok), Nye crafts her own music videos trading the genre’s stereotypical white, male pop singer surrounded by writhing, scantily clad women for queer elders (including her own mother and grandmother). By swapping out the object of desire for seniors with age spots and loose skin, Nye redefines our notions of who is both capable and worthy of lust and desire. Nye, a queer artist living in New York, broadens our view of love, sex, agency and belonging.

“Both my paintings and videos are meant as love letters to queer spaces past…