Here are the latest Back Bay - Midtown neighborhood notes:

Watercolor exhibit

The New England Watercolor Society is presenting its 2019 signature members’ show and sale at the Guild of Boston Artists, 162 Newbury St., now through March 4. Gallery hours are from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays.

An opening reception and presentation of awards will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9.

Painting demonstrations will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sundays featuring Bill Lane on Feb. 10, Robert Mesrop on Feb. 17 and Ann Trainor Dominque on Feb. 24.

Gallery talks will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturdays, with Gary Tucker on Feb. 17, Ann Hart on Feb. 23 and Kristin Stashenko on March 2.

The New England Watercolor Society was founded in 1885 and is one of the oldest and most prestigious watercolor societies in America.

For more information, visit

Renaissance and Baroque music

The Church of the Covenant, 67 Newbury St., will host Ensemble 44 in concert from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 10.

The ensemble will present music inspired by Saint Cecilia – Renaissance and Baroque era works, from Lassus to Purcell. The musicians include Kendra Comstock, soprano; Hannah Davidson, viola da gamba; Kathleen McDougald-Lee, harpsichord; Nouri Newman, recorders and flute; Ishmael Stefanov-Wagner, violin; and Chris Talbot, baritone.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the door.

Call 617-266-7480 or visit for further details.

Choral recital

St. Andrew’s Singers will perform in concert at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 10 at Trinity Church Boston, 206 Clarendon St.

The afternoon will feature mezzo-soprano Katherine Growdon, accompanied by pianist Megan Henderson. The performance will be followed by a reception to meet and chat with the artists.

Admission is $20 and free for students aged 17 and under.

Facing history

Author Andrew Aydin, creator of the graphic memoir series “MARCH,” will discuss his work in a Community Conversation from 5:45 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 11 at the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St.

“MARCH” chronicles the life of Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis. It was co-authored with Congressman Lewis and illustrated by Nate Powell. Aydin will discuss the graphic novel and how its lessons can inspire future generations of upstanders.

Students from around the Boston area who have read and studied this work in their classrooms and have a unique perspective on the series will join the program.

Admission is free. Visit or call 617-536-5400 for further information.

Environmental history

The Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston St., will present “Amputated from the Land: Black Refugees from America and the Neglected Voices of Environmental History” from 5:15 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12. A reception will be held at 5:15 p.m.

Bryon Williams of the Academy at Penguin Hall will focus on dictated narratives from the 1840s and ’50s, accounts delivered by blacks who fled the U.S. to settle in the wilds of Ontario. These first-person accounts of environmental encounter and expertise are unrivaled in depth, breadth and detail among black ecological writing of any era.

New environmental histories need such accounts that not only counter dominant American environmental and political myths, but offer black-lived stories of environmental belonging and agency.

Registration is required for this free program, by calling 617-646-0579 or online at

Using genealogical resources

The New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99-101 Newbury St., will present “Using” from noon to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Wednesday, Feb. 13.

The web team will explain how to use the genealogical website that provides access to family historians to records in the U.S. and beyond. Attendees will learn what online resources exist, how to navigate the website and perform effective database searches, browse the online collections and more.

Admission is free. Registration is recommended.

Further information can be found at or by calling 888-296-3447.

Valentine’s concert

The Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., will welcome the Boston Saxophone Quartet in “BSQ with Love!” at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 14.

The quartet will salute both Valentine's Day and jazz in their special show. Some highlights of this performance will include: “My Funny Valentine” by Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart, "I Love You" by Cole Porter, and "Porgy and Bess" by George Gershwin.

The Boston Saxophone Quartet is a unique blend of musicians combining a tremendous range of repertoire and individual experience in wind performance. Members of the BSQ have performed with the Boston Pops and Boston Symphony Orchestra and leading Broadway theaters throughout New England.

Admission is free. Call 617-859-2382 for further information.

Boston portraits and landscapes

The French Cultural Center, 53 Marlborough St., is displaying “French Eyes on Boston,” portraits and landscapes by Marguerite Wibaux, now through Feb. 28.

Wibaux’s landscapes marry the Renaissance perspective tradition with an American expressionist approach. The paintings engage with the artist’s perceptions of various points of view in Boston.

The landscape series explores various mediums and techniques, mixing oil and spray paint with acrylic and collage.

Wibaux’s work also explores Boston’s youth through portraiture. These paintings aim to pay tribute to a rich diversity of styles, personalities, genres, origins and cultures in a visually thriving and energizing series.

Wibaux will host a workshop at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15, walking participants through the process of painting alla prima. The cost is $45 for members and $65 for non-members.

The exhibition is free, but reservations are required. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

For more information and to make a reservation, call 617-912-0400 or visit

Bach cantatas

Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St., is presenting its 42nd season of the J. S. Bach Cantatas at 10 a.m. on Sundays now through May 20.

The orchestra and chorus of Emmanuel Music will present weekly performances of the cantatas and motets of J.S. Bach and others, conducted by Ryan Turner.

For more information, call 617-536-3356 or visit

Collections tour

The Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston St., will host tours of the collections of the society at 10 a.m. on Saturdays.

Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the 90-minute tour focuses on the history and collections of the MHS.

The tour is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required for individuals or small groups. Parties of eight or more should contact the MHS.

Further information can be found at or by calling 617-646-0560.

Library tours

Boston Public Library volunteers will give art and architecture tours of the McKim Building, a National Historic Landmark, in its main building, constructed in 1895, throughout the week.

Highlights include the murals of John Singer Sargent, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes and Edwin Austin Abbey and the work of architect Charles Follen McKim.

Self-guided tours are available as well, and literature describing the architectural highlights is available on the web at

For tours by appointment, call 617-536-5400.