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A new, free contemporary art museum opens at MassArt on Saturday

An exhibit of work by artist Joana Vasconcelos, including "Valkyrie Mumbet," is on display at the new MassArt Art Museum.Will Howcroft

Boston is now home to a free contemporary art museum — thanks to the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

The MassArt Art Museum, or MAAM, will feature rotating exhibitions of modern art. With no plans to build a permanent collection, the MAAM will focus on its duties as a teaching museum for the college’s thousands of students and a sanctuary for local art lovers.

Three inaugural exhibitions fill the 15,000-square-foot space.

One is a group exhibition on video games called “Game Changers." Another site-specific installation, “Yesterday Is Here,” resembles a mosaic, made from catalogs, posters, and announcement cards. Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos’s colorful, swaying sculpture, “Valkyrie Mumbet," is the last of the group. The MAAM appearance is Vasconcelo’s US debut.


The museum occupies what was formerly known as the Bakalar and Paine Galleries, now a renovated and expanded space in the heart of MassArt’s campus.

MAAM officially opens Saturday with a free, all-day celebration, complete with a ribbon cutting, art-making activities, and a reception. Governor Charlie Baker, Portuguese Ambassador Domingos Fezas Vital, and MassArt President David Nelson were among the attendees at a preview event held on Thursday.

The space is helmed by executive director Lisa Tung, associate director Chloe Zaug, assistant curator Darci Hanna, and museum coordinator Mariah Azoti. MassArt’s UNBOUND campaign raised $12.5 million from 424 donors to fund the renovation. 621 Huntington Ave., Boston,

Diti Kohli can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @ditikohli_.

Diti Kohli can be reached at her @ditikohli_.