Fresh Goods,  an exhibit on fashions and shopping in the 18th and 19th centuries, opens this week at the Concord Museum and is on view until early July.
Fresh Goods, an exhibit on fashions and shopping in the 18th and 19th centuries, opens this week at the Concord Museum and is on view until early July.

One person's trash is another one's treasure, or so the saying goes. And that adage is Lowell artist Scott Stephens' mantra in the many colorful collages he creates.

Using "discards," Stephens builds intricate worlds with old photographs, transparencies, sketches, trash and ephemera, layering and constructing unique, clever compositions.

His work is featured in a new exhibit at Mandarin Asian Bistro, 24 Market St., Lowell, on view March 3-May 31, with a reception Sunday, March 11, 4-6 p.m.

The word "collage" is from the French collé, meaning "to glue together." It is an established art form, practiced by such luminaries as Braque and Picasso.

A collage by Scott Stephens, on view at Mandarin Asian Bistro.
A collage by Scott Stephens, on view at Mandarin Asian Bistro.

"In every work, I try to be outrageous, using active colors and composition to produce images that draw connections between memory, consciousness, personal experience and point of view," says Stephens.

In his work, Stephens brings various experiences from studying photography and graphic design at Lowell High School to travels as a touring musician to time at Mass College of Art.

Mandarin Asian Bistro has hosted art shows on its restaurant walls for three years, working with Mary Hart, a downtown resident and art advocate, to present varied work by local artists.

"The open space presents a great opportunity to show artwork in the casual setting of a neighborhood gathering place," says Hart.


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Late Nite at the MFA features music, dancing and more this Saturday, March 3.
Late Nite at the MFA features music, dancing and more this Saturday, March 3.

Art picks

GRAND RE-OPENING: After months of refurbishment and rebuilding, the all-new Discovery Museum in Acton is set to reopen and celebrate this weekend, March 3-4. The newly expanded museum is chock-full of new, engaging exhibit-space experiences, including water, air, tinkering, design and engineering. There are early-brain development projects, plus math stuff, light, color, sound, along with visitor favorites from the original buildings. And for outdoor explorers, there's Discovery Woods with its fully accessible, huge treehouse that begs everyone to come explore. Children under 12 are admitted free during the Opening Celebration weekend. Visit www.discoveryacton.org for info and hours.

SHOPPING SPREE: Concord Museum takes visitors on an 18th- and 19th-century shopping trip for new clothes in its new exhibition "Fresh Goods: Shopping for Clothing in a New England Town," 1750-1900. On view March 2-July 8, it features portions of its extensive historic clothing collection on view for the first time, plus textiles and decorative arts. "Fresh Goods" explores how Concordians of the past acquired clothing. It also draws on account books, advertisements, photos, letters and diaries of the period. But, says curator David Wood, "The real stars of the show are a dozen 18th- and 19th-century examples of women's, men's and children's clothing. Most have Concord histories, and few have been on view in recent past." Fashions range from a Parisian dinner dress to shoes made from silk brocade, to a handmade everyday dress made with cotton milled in New England, possibly Lowell. An interactive exhibit allows visitors to virtually shop a cross-section of the museum's clothing collection, creating a wardrobe of fans, bags, shoes and clothes for an 18th- or 19th-century wardrobe. "Fresh Goods" is the first exhibition in a yearlong Mass Fashion collaborative with eight other cultural organizations around the state. Visit www.massfashion.org. For info on the activities that Concord Museum plans during the show, visit www.concordmuseum.org.

NIGHT OUT AT MFA: Put on your dancing shoes and get ready to get down and boogie the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston this Saturday, March 3, at the MFA's latest "Late Nite Party." On tap from 8 p.m.-2 a.m., the fun and frivolity in the Shapiro Family Courtyard includes dancing to DJs, virtual-reality experiences, dance performances and more in a partnership with local musicians, artists and organizations. Snacks and drinks will be available in several locations. Advance tickets are $15 at www.mfa.org or $20 at the door. Visit the website for info.