Museum of Bad Art

When you're 10 years old it's hard to be forced to appreciate art if it isn't in comics, so to be whisked away to a fancy building to watch a guy in a beret stare at a portrait of a bowl of fruit probably makes a whole lot of kids hate art. But now that you're older and carry more refined, specific tastes in painting and sculpture, it's more important than ever to have a reference point--you can't appreciate the top without experiencing the bottom first, right? Now we have a reference point: The Museum of Bad Art, started out of a New England basement in 1994, has snowballed in popularity thanks to its Internet presence, now expanding to two smaller locations--the Dedham Community Theatre in Dedham, Mass., and the Somerville Gallery in Somerville, Mass. The legend begins with "Lucy In The Field With Flowers," a canvas salvaged from a dumpster that features a colorful flower bed and a frolicking old woman, straight from your local bridge club, collecting white blossoms without any hint of joy. It's become the cornerstone for a collection of pieces that are often so unconscionably bad it's a wonder they were given time and energy. MOBA takes the seriousness of the art world--that over-analytical guy in the beret--and beats it into laugh-riotous submission.