Weekend Art Event: FIGMENT Boston

For its ninth year, FIGMENT Boston takes over a part of the city and transforms it into a participatory art experience. Starting in Dewey Square and continuing up the Rose Kennedy Greenway, the two-day event is completely free and open to the public. Make sure to stop by this Saturday, July 30, 11 AM - 11 PM, and Sunday, July 31, 12 PM - 6 PM for a unique Boston art experience. 

Image Courtesy of FIGMENT Boston

Image Courtesy of FIGMENT Boston

How It Began

FIGMENT began as a New York event, which still takes place on Governor's Island every year. Jason Turgeon, the man who brought FIGMENT to Boston, saw its potential in Boston, giving its large community of active artists a chance to showcase their work.

The first year, FIGMENT happened adjunct to the Cambridge River Festival, but after its success several years in a row, it moved to the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

FIGMENT is a completely non-profit, crowd-funded, volunteer-run organization. The FIGMENT experience is free of advertisement, sponsorship, or transactions. It is a purely creative event run by community members who are passionate about the promotion and experience of art itself. Anyone can be involved. 

The FIGMENT Philosophy

FIGMENT seeks to take the experience of art out of galleries and off the stage, into the hands of its audience, engaging all of their senses. It encourages the viewer to touch, talk, play, and learn from the work.

There are eleven principles that govern FIGMENT, and they all come together to form an experience which is community-based, hands-on, and open to everyone. It embodies some of the goals of the new Boston Arts and Culture Council.

With 60+ different artists exhibiting their own take on these philosophies, the goal of the weekend is to provide an environment where people can experience something new.

Image Courtesy of FIGMENT Boston

Image Courtesy of FIGMENT Boston

Participatory Art

This is not an art exhibition that one walks up to, observes, and then passes by. Every piece must have some interactive portion: that is the objective of participatory art. Each project takes on this challenge in a different way, across mediums and definitions of art.

Attendees of FIGMENT Boston can expect to see artwork which responds to touch, sound, movement, or voice. Some pieces, like Abby Neale's Community Weaving Project, grows as each participant takes a turn on the gigantic loom. Others, like the Poetry Puzzle project, changes as passerby stop to shift its words.

Between large-scale installations, roving performances, theater, dance troops, and DJs, expect to be be surprised.

Image Courtesy of FIGMENT Boston

Image Courtesy of FIGMENT Boston

Stay After Sunset

The FIGMENT After Dark Party, a special portion of the event that takes place Saturday, July 30, 6 PM - 11 PM, is an experience worth sticking around for. The Greenway comes alive with music, dance, and light installations. This year, the After Dark Party takes a fresh turn under the guidance of their new performance curator, Gary Carlow, a Boston-based electronic DJ. With a strong line-up of DJ's and a performance stage, FIGMENT plans to turn their pocket of Boston into an artistic celebration.

Catch It Before It's Gone

FIGMENT Boston is a no-trace event. At the end of the weekend, artists and volunteers will pack everything up and return the Rose Kennedy Greenway back the way they found it. Don't miss FIGMENT this weekendyou won't get another chance to experience it until next year.

Follow the action and add your experiences on social media with FIGMENT Boston's official hashtag, #FIGBos16


Tuesday, July 26, 2016: Puloma Ghosh