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5 things to do this weekend, including Simone Leigh at the ICA and sheepshearing in Waltham

Gore Place's annual Sheepshearing Festival includes demonstrations of traditional shearing and herding dogs. (Courtesy Gore Place)
Gore Place's annual Sheepshearing Festival includes demonstrations of traditional shearing and herding dogs. (Courtesy Gore Place)

I always say, "Every day is Earth Day," but especially April 22, when it literally is Earth Day. Aside from climate awareness and green fun, we’ve got bluegrass, a hugely important ICA exhibit and live music from the rock band Fruit Bats. Let’s make like a kid with a J.P. Licks sundae and just dive right in.

Simone Leigh at the ICA

Through Sept. 4

Here’s a tip: every Thursday is free admission at the ICA — and kids 18 and under are always free. This week, take advantage of the opportunity because the museum is now showing Simone Leigh’s stellar survey exhibition. Leigh became the first Black woman to represent the U.S. at the Venice Biennale in 2022. Selections from that landmark presentation make their U.S. premiere in Boston with this exhibit. Her work, an ode to Black womanhood, is definitely worth a visit. [Read more about Leigh and the new exhibition here.]

Simone Leigh, "Cupboard" (detail), 2022. (Courtesy the artist and Matthew Marks Gallery; Photo by Timothy Schenck)
Simone Leigh, "Cupboard" (detail), 2022. (Courtesy the artist and Matthew Marks Gallery; Photo by Timothy Schenck)

And if you miss Free Thursday Night, know that on Friday (April 21), the ICA is launching a new concept for its waterfront Wine + Coffee Bar with "light bites by The Catered Affair and a list of natural wines.” Think orange wine, small-batch cheese with almonds and honey and West African meat pie.

Shifting the Climate Culture at PEM

Thursday, April 20-Saturday, April 22

Saturday is Earth Day, and Salem’s Peabody Essex Museum is “Shifting the Climate Culture.” The three-day event, co-hosted with Rare, an international behavior change organization, is filled with interactive installations as part of PEM’s larger climate action exhibit, “Climate Action: Inspiring Change." Plus, it’s the tail-end of April break, so there are some green kid-friendly activities, from a cooking demo with a vegan restaurant to a drumming and movement workshop. Kids can also take part in a pre-Earth Day drop-in art class where they can draw still-life flowers or take part in “Chalk Print Planet,” a post-Earth Day art class.

Rock out with Fruit Bats

Friday, April 21

Fruit Bats defy time. With any given song, they might feel like a cool indie band you missed out on in the ‘90s, the ‘70s, or even 1960s Laurel Canyon. But they're actually a modern band with a quirky mellow funk. Founded in 1997, Fruit Bats is an interesting, ever-changing lineup behind staple band member Eric D. Johnson. You might know Johnson, a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, from other bands like Bonny Light Horseman and The Shins. Touring now on their new album, “A River Running to Your Heart,” Fruit Bats pull into Boston on Friday at Royale. Hear a track off the new album, “It All Comes Back,” below.

Sheepshearing Festival

Saturday, April 22

Honestly, this event might represent human connection to the Earth better than any other Earth Day event. Relive ye olde pastoral days, when we all literally lived off the land, at the 36th Annual Sheepshearing Festival in Waltham. Head to Gore Place, a 50-acre country estate, to find some 100 craft and fiber artists, live music, food, Morris dancing, a Maypole dance, and demonstrations on traditional shearing, horsemanship, horse agility demos and more.

Della Mae in Somerville

Saturday, April 22

I love the fiddle and have two ears, so yes, I’m a Della Mae fan. Formed in Boston in 2009 “with ambitions of disrupting the male-dominated bluegrass scene,” as their website says, this Grammy-nominated, all-women string band —  fiddle player Kimber Ludiker, lead vocalist and guitarist Celia Woodsmith, guitarist Avril Smith, bassist Vickie Vaughn, and mandolinist Maddie Witler — rock. Fresh from playing the Grand Ole Opry, you can catch their foot-stomping, clap-along-and-holler-out vibes in Somerville. Check out their song "Boston Town," below.

Lauren Daley Culture Writer
Lauren Daley is a freelance culture writer for The ARTery.



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