FIGMENT Boston Returns With Floating Lights, People, and More Interactive Art

One of the brightest (literally) spots on the city's art scene returns to the Greenway this weekend.

Photo via FIGMENT

Photo by Clare Densmore/FIGMENT

For the fourth year in a row, a section of the Rose Kennedy Greenway will be transformed into a space full of lights, sculptures, interactive artwork, and performances.

On July 27 and 28, FIGMENT Boston, a free annual festival that celebrates the city’s art scene, will return to the Greenway and greet those spilling out of South Station with customized art projects that offer a hands-on experience. “FIGMENT’s whole mission is … letting them know they have this creative potential inside of them,” said Jason Turgeon, producer of the event. “It’s a requirement, we don’t have any pieces that aren’t somehow interactive. There’s no fine art painting on an easel … it’s this magical space with all different types of art people can play with.”

Attendees can expect an array of artwork this year, including a social experiment using photography, where photographers will capture, print, and display photos of the FIGMENT artists, performers, and participants in real-time. There will also be the AutoSub Dome, a 30-foot by 20-foot structure that doubles as a space to get some shade, in addition to a space for aerial silk performers and music. Attendees can also make use of the “modular graffiti wall,” a series of interchangeable wooden blocks that are constantly removed and rearranged.

There’s even something for those who just want to observe: a set of water fountains with changing patterns of color and movement that light up at night. “[The event] teaches people who are already artists how to stretch their style, and opens [the art world] up to people who may not think of themselves as artists,” said Turgeon of the volunteer-based gathering.

This year, for the first time, FIGMENT Boston will also host an extra event during the two-day art festival called “After Dark,” where LED lights, music, and projected video will turn the Dewey Square portion of the Greenway, where the Os Gemeos mural is, into an experience with a “dance party feel.”

“Everything not in Dewey Square will come down, and people will come and hang out together,” said Turgeon.

FIGMENT Boston, born from a festival in New York City, first came to Cambridge in 2009, and was just six hours long. Since then, the organizers have been able to expand immensely and bring in “a tremendous amount” of new projects, like larger sculptures and installation pieces while stretching the duration over a couple of days. “It’s completely volunteer-driven and non-commercial. The passion of the people involved, and the passion of the artists to really come together as a community are what helps make FIGMENT happen,” said Clare Densmore, one of the event’s promoters.

FIGMENT is now in nine cities and three countries and growing every month, she said.

Below is a map of all the events happening along the Greenway. Projects and placement are subject to change between now and the event: