The Back Bay Fens Get Some ‘Sparkle and Chime’

A new audiovisual public art installation brings shimmering light and sounds to Evans Way Park.

sparkle and chime

Photo by Yiqing Shao

Sometimes a bit of sparkle and chime is all it takes to brighten up your day.

That’s exactly what “Sparkle and Chime,” a new art installation by Boston architecture firm Shepley Bulfinch, does. Through October 31, when passersby walk through Evans Way Park next to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in the Back Bay Fens, they’ll find themselves surrounded by flickers of light and gentle sounds coming from the public art piece.

“Sparkle and Chime” is made of hundreds of lightweight reflective discs and rings strung from the trees in the park. As the wind blows them in various directions, sunlight reflects off of them to fill the park with bouncing light, and bell-like sounds result from the pieces clanging against one another.

The installation, designed by Jean Kim, is made of hundreds of metal pieces recycled from hard drives, thousands of small mirrors and beads, and 7,000 feet of fishing line.

The dancing light and ambient chimes make the space a fun spot to rest for people seeking refuge from Huntington Avenue traffic. Kids can chase the dots of light dashing around the pathway, and late-night passersby also find a lovely scene after artificial lighting takes the place of sunlight in the evenings.

Shepley Bulfinch was selected for this public art project in the spring for Fenway Alliance’s “Public by Design.” The project celebrates the Fenway Alliance and its 2014 “Opening Our Doors” celebration on Monday, October 13, now in its 13th year.

The public art installation even comes with an accompanying photo contest. The photographer who submits the best shot of “Sparkle and Chime” will win a $100 gift card to a Fenway Cultural District destination, and the runner-up will receive a free pass to the Gardner Museum.