FIGMENT Brings More Art To The Rose Kennedy Greenway Than You Can Imagine

Posted July 23, 2015 by Cheryl Fenton in Theater & Arts

If you think art outside of four white museum walls is a figment of your imagination, you’re right.

Bust through the notion that art is stationary with a two-day interactive playscape of street theater, sculpture, inflatable art, dance, social experiments, games, bands, and anything else you can imagine.

Now in its fifth year, consider FIGMENT an explosion of creative energy. It’s an annual celebration of participatory art and culture where everything is possible.

During the July 25-26 weekend, The Rose Kennedy Greenway is transformed into a large-scale collaborative artwork. From opera to decorating cookies (yes, both have been at FIGMENT before), you’ll see it all. You can even bring your own art to share with others.

The name Figment is creator David Koren’s nod to Andy Warhol’s desire for a blank tombstone except for the word “figment.” And if there’s anyone who thought outside the box creatively, it was Warhol. So FIGMENT was born in July 2007. It was a one-­day participatory arts event on Governors Island in New York Harbor with over 2,600 participants. Now it’s held in multiple cities and draws tens of thousands of participants each year.

As it invades Boston again this summer, get ready to interact with art – touch it, smell it, write on it, talk to it, dance with it, play with it, and learn from it. This is an environment for people of all ages to play. If you’ve got little ones in tow, or if you’re a kid at heart, you can bring your own sidewalk chalk, kites, hula hoops, costumes, croquet sets, water guns, anything you want to play with or invite others to join you in.

This year you’ll have your mind blown by an array of artistic genius – a 3-D AutoSub Dome Community Mural, The Low Anthem’s psychedelic sculpture, a marching Jamaica Plain Honk Band, and a freestanding mechanical bell-tower, just to name a few. The Real Time Art Show will also conduct “an experiment in social photography,” which consists of a printed gallery of FIGMENT that changes real-time over the course of the weekend. You can engage with Boston’s Company One’s ASTRO Wall, a four-panel comic layout of Astro Boy (the first ever Anime character) that you can add your own images to to create an ever-changing storyline with your community. And we can’t forget to mention the gnome-themed mini-golf and giant freestanding xylophone to bang away on.

Should you want to keep the party going when the sun goes down, check out the second annual FIGMENT After Dark Dance Party in Dewey Square on Saturday from 6 to 11pm. This event is definitely giving you more of what you love, with live DJs, fire spinners, Video Bleep’s immersive 360-degree surround sound dome, and Julia Jerome’s Waterlily Sky, a peaceful mobile of internally lit, gently swaying waterlilies.

If you want to keep up on all the buzz, there’s a Figment iPhone app you can download from the App Store.

So pack some sunscreen, a picnic and your imagination. This is one figment you’re going to want to see.

FIGMENT is held Saturday, July 25, 11am to 11pm and Sunday, July 26, noon until 6pm.