art design

‘Fall into art and design’ with Boston Design Week

Glading Marteen 


A special autumn offering of more than 50 public art and design events kicks off Tuesday. Here’s how to experience this fall’s Boston Design Week 2021. 

United Shoe Machinery Building (now The Landmark), on High Street in Boston, one
of the stops on the Art Deco virtual tour. Courtesy

Aficionados of all things aesthetic should mark their calendars for an upcoming festival that will shine a spotlight on Boston’s eclectic design and art scene.

Boston Design Week 2021 kicks off Tuesday, Sept. 28, offering three weeks of more than 50 public events showcasing exquisite works in architecture and interior design. Some of Boston Design Week’s activities include live “plein air” painting in the Public Garden, art and historic design tours, auction previews, galas, and more.

The theme of this season’s festival is “Fall Into Art and Design.” Its mission is to raise public awareness and appreciation of the role design plays in modern life, and open new audiences to a wide array of design industries and organizations.

“We want Boston Design Week to be known as a portal to all things art and design,” said Tony Fusco, who along with his partner Robert Four has co-produced Boston Design Week since its launch in 2014.

Boston Design Week typically takes place in the spring each year. Fusco said organizers launched this special fall 2021 season to support the city’s diverse design community through what continues to be a difficult time for designers, “from the smallest design nonprofit to large design showrooms and companies,” he said.

Organizers spread the festival over the course of three weeks, until Oct. 16,  to give attendees plenty of opportunities to engage.

“For the first time since March 2020, some of the events are in person, but a number of them are virtual so people can enjoy them from anywhere, and many, like the design tours, are outdoors,” Fusco said. “ While this is smaller than our annual spring Design Week, which can have as many as 80 to 100 programs, we are excited by the diversity and by celebrating both historic and contemporary design.”

Teen artists gather at Artists for Humanity for one of
their Open Studio events. – Courtesy

A few highlights of Boston Design Week 2021 

View a Plein Air Painting in the Public Garden, Sept. 29: Boston gallerist Judith Reilly, who runs a fine art gallery at the Four Seasons Hotel on Boylston Street, has invited artists Stan Moeller and Heidi Lorenz to do plein air painting demonstrations for a day in the Public Garden. This style of open-air painting became a strong feature of French Impressionism. This event is free and doesn’t require RSVP.

Support local teen artists at Artists for Humanity at 100 W. 2nd St, Sept. 29: Attend AFH Open Studio X with teen designers and painters at Artists For Humanity, a program that employs enterprising teens from Boston neighborhoods to create distinctive art and design services for individuals and businesses. This event is free but requires an RSVP.

“We are thrilled to partner again this year with Boston Design Week — our 30th anniversary year — a year to celebrate the voices and creative energy of hundreds of talented Boston teens and the power of the arts and design to inspire us all — alongside our visionary resident artist Lavaughan Jenkins,” said Susan Rodgerson, the founding executive/artistic director of Artists for Humanity.

Tour the Victorian Gibson House on Beacon Street, Oct. 7 & 14: One tour focuses on the “Upstairs Downstairs” lives of the servants, while another tour delves into the lesser-known gay subculture of early 20th-century Boston through the eyes of the home’s final owner, Charlie Gibson. These tours require an RSVP with $15 admission.

Check out Minotti Boston on Stuart Street, Oct. 7: One of the highlights of Boston Design Week is the opening of the new Minotti Boston Italian furniture showroom opening in the heart of the Theatre District. Showroom manager John Trifone tells that the district is quickly becoming a destination for interior design professionals. The Oct. 7 event is reserved for designers, architects, and developers, but there will be no appointment necessary during the regular showroom. hours.

“Innovative brands and luxury designers, along with Minotti, have established an address along the city’s Stuart Street that some are calling Boston’s ‘Rodeo Drive’ for interiors,” Trifone said. “The Minotti Showroom allows Bostonians to experience the international lifestyle of the brand.”

Celebrate the ‘Opening Our Doors’ 20th Anniversary in the Fenway Cultural District, Oct. 9: This festival showcases Boston’s diverse art and culture scene with interactive performances, activations, art, music, dance, crafts, spoken word. Now in its 20th anniversary year, “Opening Our Doors” is Boston’s longest-running and largest day of free cultural experiences. This event is free and open to the public. No registration is necessary.

Visit for a full schedule of events.

The Music Room at the 1857 Gibson House in Back
Bay. – Photo by John Woolf

Background on Boston Design Week

Boston Design Week is part of World Design Weeks, an international coalition of more than 30 design festivals around the world. A new aspect of this fall’s Boston Design Week is that it gives the public access to six other design festivals from Rhode Island, Atlanta, and Mexico City, via the event’s website

Boston Design Week is produced by Fusco & Four/Ventures, a PR and marketing firm that specializes in art and design. Fusco and his partner Robert Four have been promoting the arts in Boston for over 40 years. 

Most events are free but many require RSVP. Anyone interested in attending can register at

‘Fall into art and design’ with Boston Design Week

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