Mark Wahlberg as Father Stu and Boston’s Last Shows

This week, GBH Executive Arts Editor Jared Bowen discusses Mark Wahlberg’s latest film, figurative painting at the ICA and an upcoming public art exhibition at a bus station near his home. you.

Showing in theaters

Dorchester native Mark Wahlberg is back in theaters to tell the true story of Father Stuart Long with his latest film ‘Father Stu’. The film follows a Montana boxer turned actor after his in-ring career is cut short by injury. But he changed his path again when he was introduced to the Catholic Church and decided that becoming a priest was his true calling.

Stuart Long (Mark Wahlberg) in Columbia Pictures’ FATHER STU.

Photo by Karen Ballard/Sony Pictures Publicity

The film was originally introduced to Wahlberg by a priest. “A lot of this actually follows the life of Mark Wahlberg, someone we know grew up on the streets of Boston. He was involved in criminal behavior. He was imprisoned at some point in his youth, but set his sights on Hollywood and then turned his life around,” Bowen says. “And he’s also a very religious person.”

Long was diagnosed with inclusion body myositis, a disorder that weakens and atrophies muscles over time. It is a rare disease with no treatment or cure. His illness gave the real-life priest a new appreciation for life, which guided his religious journey and encouraged him to do more to help others. According to Bowen, “Mark Wahlberg delivers a very, very solid performance here,” bringing “gravity” and “tremendous heart” to the role.

On view at the Institut d’art contemporain until September 5

The latest exhibition of the Institute of Contemporary Art highlights the work of eight artists of figurative painting. Unlike abstract art, figurative painting is easily identifiable as a reflection of the real world. This familiar style, which was previously considered “old fashioned”, marks a return to more traditional art forms in works that have all been created within the past five years.

“You can’t help but look at these canvases – and many of them are on a very large scale – and see other people’s stories, see your own story, see a sense of community, all coming together of the way the artists have made people intertwined. There’s a lot of intimacy here, just in the relationships, in the way of looking at life, “says Bowen. “I have to say I was quite blown away by this show.”

Massive unframed canvases on display in an empty showroom with white walls
Installation View, A Place For Me: Figurative Painting Now

Photo by Mel Taing/Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, 2022

To be discovered in JCDecaux bus shelters in Boston, New York and Chicago until June 5

Public Art Fund‘s latest collaboration with JCDecaux changes the experience of waiting for the bus by showing art instead of advertisements. “That’s what I love about this city. That’s what I love about public art.” said Bowen.

The work of twenty international artists is currently presented at bus stops in Boston, New York and Chicago. “Art is everywhere you want to find it – even in the most unexpected places, which I find delightful,” Bowen raves. With spring coming to Boston, it’s a great time to go out for a walk and see how many you can find!

Tea with dolly by Kaylene Whiskey
Tea with trolley by Kaylene Whiskey seen in a JCDecaux bus shelter in Boston

Photo by SandenWolff/Public Art Fund

What artistic activities are you looking forward to? Tell Jared about Facebook or Twitter!

Julia P. Cluff