Figment Boston 2013

Do you want to mix your outside time up with some art and culture? Art museums are fantastic, but are they sometimes too hands-off and enclosed? Is, um, er, Burning Man too far away, pricey, and not quite kid-friendly enough?

Check out the Figment Project!  It’s a yearly FREE art festival on the Rose Kennedy Greenway and the whole point is for artists to come up with art projects and installations that are participatory and interactive.  Wonderful for kids, but many adults go on their own every year.  It’s affordable and kid-friendly, but the art is serious enough to satisfy adults.

Figment is in nine international cities around the world so far and we were actually introduced by our friend Ashley who lives just outside New York City.   New York hosts theirs on another great urban green space, Governor’s Island.  So check dates if you’ll be state hopping or globetrotting, but it is a regular annual event, so you can just watch for Figment Boston 2014.  Better yet, volunteer or, if you’re an artist, submit an idea.  (The link is actually for last year’s, but I’m assuming they’ll be reopening it there in late winter, as usual, so start brainstorming already!)

But, ironically, it had never worked out timing wise (what with summer so full of travel and barbecues and whatever else) to make it to the one in our very own city.  Well, this year it lined up perfectly, and we’re glad it did.  We had a great time.

Here’s Bridget enjoying the Hedgecone ring toss!  She made a ringer, and won a lollipop from inside one of the safety cones.


Fiona’s vocabulary is still burgeoning.  But, charmingly, one of her favorite words is love.  She and Craig are a bit squirmy so it was hard to line ourselves up correctly in the thought bubble booth, but we thought this was appropriate:


Bridget made me a crown we later hung from the Sustainabilitree (made completely from found objects) behind me:


Some of the projects were edgy and some of them were sweet, and some, like the armpit-smelling booth called Bring a Pheromone and this farting dog sculpture called Amelia’s Angry Stomach involved enough bodily function humor to make grandma tut-tut.  But going with kids of a certain age and phase?  There’s a market for that!


Bridget’s favorite was Lend Me a Sound.  We don’t have any photos of the booth because it was basically just a woman sitting at a computer, but she’d take sound samples from passers-by and make songs out of them.  Bridget’s squeaky “hello!”, her duck noise (in honor of Fiona’s favorite animal) and her pretty trill went quite nicely with the other participant’s meows, yodels, and twangs.

Fiona’s favorite was String Theory.  Relatively simple in concept (unlike the theoretical physics string theory) it was basically just hundreds of yellow strings suspended from a frame in a 28′ wide circle, increasing in density and length near the middle.  It was indeed fun to run through (Imagine running through a hundred beaded door curtains from the 70s in a row!  And odd but accurate description.)  and it was quite gorgeous.  IMG_9132


And finally, the girls hula hooping with the Boston Hoop Troop in front of the famous Os Gemeos mural in Dewey Square:


We hope you enjoyed us sharing our day.   Our favorite part of Figment, which also has a Facebook page?  Just like Outside the Box, last week’s brand new and highly acclaimed new arts festival on the Common, Figment Boston is  incredibly creative community use of park space!  Inspired?  Come help us finish rebuilding Rounds Playground and park space in Stoneham August 24th.  See if we can pretty it up even more and attract some fun cultural events there.  See you there!

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