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Nestled between citations for best Climbing Gym (Boston Rock Gym) and Best Gay Bar (Club Cafe), Boston Magazine lists MIT's List Visual Arts Center as the Best Gallery in the "Out and About" category of its recent "Best of - " issue.
The award came as a surprise to the List Center staff. Jennifer Riddell, curatorial assistant/fellow at the List Center, received a call from Boston Magazine in late July, inviting them to a cocktail party the following day (July 29). "They didn't even tell me on the phone what the party was for," said Ms. Riddell, who attended the festivities with List Center director Katy Kline and curator Helaine Posner.
"About every eight weeks, from September to June, the LVAC shows innovative, provocative contemporary work in all media by established and emerging artists, including the likes of Kiki Smith and Louise Bourgeois," the magazine wrote in its August issue. "There are a total of three gallery spaces -- more than 4,600 square feet -- in this grid-patterned building, designed by MIT alumnus I.M. Pei in 1985. And the atrium, where a giant, colorful Kenneth Nolan painting sprawls across an entire wall, is by far one of Boston's most beautiful sanctuaries."
According to Megan Mullry, senior editor with the publication, the "Best of - " selections were made by members of Boston Magazine's editorial staff, who were sent out to investigate suggestions and recommendations. "Since this year's issue was 'back to basics,' we wanted to find a gallery with a broad range which appealed to a wide range of interests and media. We also loved the List Center's public spaces," she said.
This is the first time the List Visual Arts Center has received a Boston Magazine's "Best of - " citation, but it's the second time that art at MIT has been honored. In 1991, the magazine designated the sculptures on MIT's campus as "Best Public Art."
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 10, 1997.