May 14–October 16, 2016

Community Arts Initiative

Second Hands

Kids explore art, utility, and imagination!

Over the past school year, 141 students from the Museum’s ten Community Arts Initiative partners visited the MFA with artist Maria Molteni to create a multifaceted artwork inspired by the MFA’s collection and the global community of makers.

In “Second Hands,” the MFA’s 11th Artist Project, students selected items from a variety of vibrant garments acquired from second-hand stores in the Boston area, checked the tags to find where in the world their garments were made, and then explored art in the Museum's collection made in those same countries. Using artwork from those places as inspiration, the students designed their own original patterns. The quilts on view were designed and sewn by Molteni who arranged students’ screen printed fabrics. The installation reflects themes and relationships discussed throughout the program: handmade craft, utility, and imagination.

“Second Hands” expands the role of the students as artists, observers, and members of a diverse community of Bostonians and citizens of the world. Their journey included concepts, art elements, and even political issues they will revisit throughout their lives.

Through the CAI, the MFA is proud to partner with Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester, United South End Settlements, West End House Boys and Girls Club of Allston-Brighton, Vine Street Community Center, and five of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston located in Blue Hill, Chelsea, Charlestown, South Boston, and Roxbury.

Learn more about the Community Arts Initiative.

Above: Students from the Chelsea Boys & Girls clubs printing on fabric as part of “Second Hands.”

  • Edward H. Linde Gallery (Gallery 168)


The Community Arts Initiative is generously supported by the Linde Family Foundation.