children play with string

Process Gallery

Explore three major themes from the New England Triennial 2022 in this season’s hands-on Process Gallery designed to engage visitors of all ages with the artists and themes from the exhibition. Draw or write about a memorable experience of yourself in nature as you consider your place in the natural world. Send a postcard to a chosen family member as you explore kinship and ancestral lineage. And practice your alchemy skills as you transform mundane materials into something unexpected as you think about transmutation.

Process Gallery: New England Triennial

Process Gallery: New England Triennial

Process Gallery:  New England Triennial

The Lab: Decay

It’s a fact: decay and decomposition have bad street cred. The words themselves conjure images of death, rot, and detritus, and generally make our skin crawl. But there is another side to decay—one of regeneration, and new beginnings. Decay is a sign of a healthy ecosystem, and through decay, new life begins. Forest floors are cleaned, earth becomes rich with fertilization, and our existence is nourished through this vital process.

At the heart of decay sits a humble group of organisms known as decomposers. Leggy millipedes, gooey slime molds, strange-looking mushrooms, and armored beetles are the unlikely heroes that make decomposition and regrowth possible. Often overlooked and usually unappreciated, these small but mighty beings carry out a process essential to our planet’s health.

As you explore The Lab today, remember great things can be found in the most unlikely of places. Consider how architectural decay can create some of our most romantic settings. Look carefully at a decomposer and think about their life-giving contributions as you draw their portraits. Learn how mold in food can help make us stronger and discover how mushrooms and fungus just might save us all

The Lab: Decay

The Lab: Decay

an orange logo for Foundation for Metro West

Support for The Lab and Process Gallery is provided by Foundation for MetroWest

Learn More
  • Location and Logistics
  • Safety and Comfort

Location and Logistics

The Lab is located on the 4th floor of the Museum building on the hill.

When visiting The Lab, we suggest that you use front or backpacks for carrying young children.

If you need to bring a stroller, you can enter the Museum building either:

Through the front entrance facing the parking lot. You will need to take two different elevators to reach the 4th floor. Front desk staff can help direct you.

Through the Pondside Doors on the far side of the Museum facing the Pond. You will enter the Museum building on the 3rd floor and will need to take one elevator to reach the 4th Floor.

Please bring strollers inside The Lab with you so that they do not interfere with the gallery exhibitions and group tours.

Please hold your children’s hands while walking through the Museum galleries to keep both people and art safe.

Safety and Comfort

Touching is absolutely allowed in The Lab, as well as in the Process Gallery and Reading Area on the 3rd floor. However, it is not allowed in any of the other Museum galleries.

Food and drink are not allowed anywhere in the Museum building. Please enjoy these in the Park or in the courtyard.

Please leave The Lab for others as you found it.

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