Why Art? James Pierre & the Adius Arts Initiative in Collaboration with the MFA Late Nites
Just like our culture needs doctors, our culture needs artists. - James Pierre, Founder of Adius Arts Initiative
The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) Late Nites is a right of passage for those who are hip to the Boston art and nightlife scene. An ongoing series of after hour parties meant to “connect visitors to art, culture and community” the MFA opens its doors to visitors through the wee hours of the morning - until 2am to be exact! The super popular MFA Late Nites attracts as many as five thousand people each installment, so it’s no surprise that pre-tickets sell out each and every time. Once inside, the public can browse the exhibits, enjoy live art and musical performances, eat and partake in libations (beer garden anyone?) while dancing the night away in the Shapiro Family Courtyard. And with the front of the museum lit up in the signature multicolored lights and a long line out the door, you already know you’re in for an amazing time!
The May 12th installment of the series was no exception! The sold out event featured a specially curated lineup of DJs by DJ Leah V and a live performance by Boston Hip-Hop artist Dutch Rebelle. In addition, the MFA Late Nites, “features programming in partnership with local organizations, artists, and more.” One such partnership was that between the MFA and the Adius Arts Initiative; a non-profit arts organization founded by Cambridge native James Pierre. On this particular evening, the Adius Arts Initiative sought to ask “why art?” and looked to answer it by curating a space where five local artists of color showcased their skills through live drawing demonstrations.
With a specially curated playlist by DJ Real P, the artists, which included founder James Pierre, Wilton Tajeda, Raheem Jamal, Michael Talbot and Mykeal Damien Tucker, took up a section of space in the Klimt and Schiele: Drawn exhibit. With an easel and drawing materials, the artists went to work creating a signature piece; for example, artist Mykeal Tucker drew a portrait of his sister, while artist Michael Talbot worked his piece titled, "Peace in Death". As visitors passed through the gallery, they stopped to watch the young men drawing away, completely in their element and unbothered by the crowds of people around them. Some visitors even took the opportunity to comment, take photos and inquire about the drawings and the artists themselves.
As a child of Haitian immigrants, founder James Pierre often clashed with his father over his love of art. It was a talent that his father did not value because it was his opinion that it was not a viable career one should pursue. The simple act of drawing would cause such conflict at home that James would have to sneak off to draw, otherwise he risked getting in trouble. It was a contentious time, but fortunately things did change for better between the two of them. James recalls a particular memory where he and his father connected over one of his drawings. For the first time ever, they were able to discuss different parts of the piece, and his father even went as far as to provide constructive feedback on how to make it better. He even gave his blessing to James to pursue art - a memory that became particularly meaningful to James after his father passed. James would go on to honor his father by naming the initiative ‘Adius’ - his father’s first name.
Building a bridge between community and the the local arts scene is the exact impact the Adius Art Initiative seeks to make. As an avid fan of history, it hasn’t escaped James the connection between art and history and how it directly relates to the storytelling of a people. With that understanding, the Initiative has positioned itself to be a gatekeeper of sorts by curating opportunities for the community to be engaged.
To connect with James Pierre further and learn how you can also collaborate, you can do so via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.