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Hundreds turn out for first “Building 7 Block Party”

Gallery Walk showcases exhibitions in art, architecture, and design.
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Building 7 Block Party participants explore the Wolk Gallery, as seen from Rotch Library.
Building 7 Block Party participants explore the Wolk Gallery, as seen from Rotch Library.
Photo: Brigham Fay

Building 7 is most known for the soaring four-story lobby that greets visitors who enter the campus from Massachusetts Avenue. Not as widely recognized is that the building is home to four galleries that feature regular exhibitions of art, architecture, and design.

After the first-ever “Building 7 Block Party and Gallery Walk” last week, however, the secret may be out: Hundreds of people from the MIT community and public filled the hallways and galleries throughout the building to celebrate the start of the spring semester and view new exhibitions of photography, drawing, and architecture.

Co-hosted by the MIT Libraries, the Department of Architecture, the MIT Museum, and the Dean for the School of Architecture and Planning — the four “neighbors” on the block — the event included food and refreshments at every gallery, a raffle of signed books by MIT authors, and a pop-up exhibit of drawings from a team of recent alumni and graduate students.

“As a place dedicated to exhibiting creative work by the community, Rotch Library was a natural partner for the event,” said Chris Bourg, the director of MIT Libraries. “This is a great example of the libraries realizing our potential as vibrant gathering places for the MIT community.”

Hashim Sarkis, dean of the School of Architecture and Planning, said the Gallery Walk produced a record turnout for the galleries. “Art is everywhere at MIT, if you know where to look,” he said. “We’re delighted that so many people responded to our invitation to take a look with us.”

The four exhibitions will remain on view throughout the semester. They are:

Rotch Library Gallery (Second floor, Room 7-238)

Book Marks: Photographs by Thomas Gearty"

SA+P Dean’s Gallery (Second floor, Room 7-231)

"Space of Learning"

Wolk Gallery (Third floor, Room 7-338)

Reinterpreting Gropius: New Architecture for the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin"

Keller Gallery (Fourth floor, Room 7-408)

"Some Evidence of Real Alternatives: 2017 Master of Architecture Graduate Thesis Exhibition"

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