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A Good Night at the Museum of Bad Art

Gary Miller

(click images to advance through gallery) The Museum of Bad Art isn't one of your fancy-schmancy, highbrow joints. After all, it's a monument to the art of the people. Fittingly, MOBA's Somerville, MA branch is located off the beaten path, in the catacombs of the 100-year-old Somerville Theater. And if you're in the Davis Square neighborhood, it's definitely worth a stop. 

That's where I found myself last Thursday evening, on the Boston leg of the Museum of the Americas Tiny Museum Tour. Louise Sacco, the museum's Permanent Acting Interim Executive Director (YOW!) had kindly agreed to let me bring the show to MOBA, and she was there to greet me. Upstairs, patrons munched popcorn as they watched Birdman and Horrible Bosses 2 while a ballet troupe in the dressing room prepared for the evening's presentation of The Slutcracker. Downstairs, surrounded by MOBA's current exhibit of bad religious art, I perched on a ladder and read from my story collection's title piece. 

This was more than just another reading, and not just because of the art hanging on the walls; the majority of the crowd was made up of friends I have known for decades. Some were part of an old Arlington writing group. Others had worked at the publishing company where I edited textbooks in the early 90s. Some were writers from the Vermont College MFA program. I hadn't seen one friend, who I'd worked with in my long-ago career in human, services, for nearly twenty-five years.

After the reading, a bunch of us repaired to The Burren, Davis Square's damned authentic Irish pub. Deb had the hot toddy, while I stuck to my usual club soda. It wasn't as wild as the old days—we called it a night at 11 or so, but It really was fun. Thanks, everyone, for making the night a special one.