Figment Boston © Greg Harris, 2013

FIGMENT Boston 2014

I love art museums.  I always have.  With few exceptions most of the art museums I’ve visited have been different variations on the same theme.  It’s either been paintings on walls, or sculptures in galleries and gardens.  It seems like the idea is always that by the act of viewing art, or being in its proximity you will learn to appreciate it, and certainly many people do, myself included.

But, what would you think if you went into an art museum and there where no paintings or sculptures on display and the art that was exhibited was meant to be played with and part of an interactive transformational experience.

Personally, I think that would pretty cool.  At least that’s what I thought when I first heard about FIGMENT Boston.

Children playing in String installation at Figment Boston © Greg Harris, 2013
Children playing in String installation at Figment Boston © Greg Harris, 2013

FIGMENT Boston is a yearly event that takes place this weekend (July 26th – July 27th) on the Rose Kennedy Greenway and features interactive art installations that are designed to engage the audience and encourage people to explore creativity.  According to their website “FIGMENT is a forum for the creation and display of participatory and interactive art by emerging artists across disciplines.”

FIGMENT was brought to Boston in 2010 by Jason Turgeon.  After it debuted at Cambridge Riverfest the same year it moved across the river to it’s current location on the Rose Kennedy Greenway, an area that has become known for it’s commitment to public art through its support of various public art projects which include a large rotating mural in Dewey Square.  Anne Lodick a producer for FIGMENT Boston explained to me with great enthusiasm that their partnership has been very a special one, and of the elements that has helped FIGMENT Boston become such a success. “Working with the Greenway Conservancy has been awesome,” she said, “they have been the best partners imaginable for us.”

Another crucial elements is, of course, the art.  The art installed is produced by a group of artists and non-artists who vary in age and background and answered an open call for artwork earlier in the year.  Their work is screened by the organizers and then invited artists volunteer their time and energy to create and install the featured artwork.  The work ranges from lighting displays, to dancing, to Dj’s and spreads all along the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

Figment at Night © Greg Harris, 2013
Figment at Night © Greg Harris, 2013

2014 will also mark the second year of FIGMENT at Night, the latest addition to FIGMENT Boston.  With a time slot from 6-11pm on July 26th, FIGMENT at Night will focus on a slightly different albeit still family friend experience.

FIGMENT is an organization with a mission in inspire community through collaboration. What started in New York in 2007 has expanded and grown to include 12 cities around the world.  Guided by eleven core principles, the passionate team of volunteer organizers that produce FIGMENT Boston and curate the event have worked hard over the past year to make it happen, and it makes me very excited to see what kind of experience FIGMENT Boston will be.

FIGMENT Boston is taking place on The Rose Kennedy Greenway, Saturday July 26th 11am – 11pm and Sunday 27th.  12pm – 6pm.  More event details can be found here on their website.

Figment at Night © Realtimeartsshow
Figment at Night © Realtimeartsshow
The sculptors must be very patient

Revere Beach Sand and Sculpting Festival 2014

Yesterday a friend of mine had the excellent idea to head on over to Revere Beach for the annual Sand and Sculpting Festival.   It had been years since I’d been there so we headed over.  While the sculptures were certainly a main feature there was lots of other stuff going on.  The beach was teeming with people taking pictures, relaxing on the beach, and enjoying the small army of food trucks that were stationed along the boardwalk.  If you didn’t make it yesterday, don’t worry.  The Sand Sculpting festival is happening the whole weekend so you still have plenty of time to go!

Here is just a taste, I’ve filled in the names of the sculptors where I have them.

"Moustache Ride" featuring Nasty Canasta © Mo Pitz. wasabasco.com

Wasabassco Takes Boston

A few days ago I was able to sit down with my friend Cade Rockwell, personality and burlesque show producer, at Shay’s in Harvard Square to talk about burlesque in Boston and Wasabassco’s upcoming debut, “Wasabassco takes Boston,” on July 12th at the Davis Square Theatre

Featuring talent from Boston and New York, Wasabassco is the newest member of Boston’s burlesque scene and Rockwell was happy to give me some insight into their first local show.

So, how did you first get involved?

So, about two years ago I met a few of the people involved in Wasabassco.  I’d been to burlesque shows before but I never really got involved, it was more just something I would just go to on occasion and I would enjoy it, but it just didn’t connect in a way that it did once I started going to see Wasabassco shows.  It was really just a great group of people and more importantly to me it sat at this really fantastic intersection of really smart and really dumb humor.  You know, striptease is not just about tittalation and there is something about that sense of humor…  So it started with me just going to the shows and going regularly… and then I helped Doc out with some promotion…

“Doc” is Doc Wasabassco?

Doc Wasabassco, who started “Wasabassco” ten years ago

He started this in New York?

Yes, in New York ten years ago.  We’ve also got the tenth anniversary coming up in November… in New York.

So, it started out with things like I was helping him out with some promotion and some marketing.  Then it was, hey! we need somebody to help out with this thing here, can you help out backstage? Can you do this? …and as time went on I got more and more involved.  I was happy to do it, I was bit by the bug. Continue reading

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