Firefly Opens Studios to Boston Area Community

No need to wait three months to dive into the art of Burning Man! Burning Man Regional Groups in more than 120 regions spanning over 20 countries are developing ways to engage local communities around the creative spirit, year-round.

Firefly Arts Collective
Firefly Arts Collective lights up Somerville Open Studios (Photo Credit: Jonathan Macleod)

Earlier this month, Firefly Arts Collective  — who organize the official New England Burning Man regional event Firefly — took part in Somerville Open Studios, one of the largest weekend-long open studio events in the United States.

Home to many Firefly artists and a growing arts community, Somerville is located just north of Boston.

Firefly Lights by Leonid A.
Firefly Lights by Leonid A. at Somerville Open Studios (Photo Credit: Jonathan Macleod)


After large manufacturing industries started departing the city in the 1960s, artists activated the abandoned industrial buildings, transforming them into studios and workshops.

Firefly’s members are an eclectic group … in their words:

…artists, scientists, healers, engineers, dreamers, makers…gather together to create a temporary zone for radical self-expression. We paint, sculpt, light things on fire, write code, cook food, build things, dance, destroy things–all activities to engage the creative spirit.

Chase / Encounter
Rachel Boyce’s Chase / Encounter paintings, part of the Chromodynamic Playground ( (Photo Credit: Jonathan Macleod)

2013 marks the second year this collective brightened Somerville Open Studios. 21 Firefly members exhibited and discussed their creations, attracting families and art-curious crowds from the Boston area to their space

Visiting surrounding studios also gave members “a much needed change of perspective that made it possible to come back with new eyes and enjoy the fruits of our labor,” as one Firefly Open Studio Team member remarked.

Their regional event Firefly takes place on July 3-7 in the woods of New England. To get a peek of what to expect, take a look at the photos below. More art awaits in their photo gallery.

Powerlines by Mike Dewberry ( and paintings by Liz Manicatide ( (Photo Credit: Keith Simmons)


K-tron art
K-Tron art ( (Photo Credit: Keith Simmons)


The RainBoat
The RainBoat by Courtney Jane Brown with thousands of satin stringed rain (Photo Credit: Jonathan Macleod)


The RainBoat
Skyward view from The RainBoat (Photo Credit: Courtney Jane Brown)


Liz Manicatade's art
Art by Liz Manicatade (Photo Credit: Jonathan Macleod)


Blake Courtney Firefly Board Member
Blake Courtney, Firefly Board Member (Photo Credit: Jonathan Macleod)


Stag Art Car by Blake Courtney
Stag Art Car by Blake Courtney (Photo Credit: Jonathan Macleod)


Ashley Netwon's Rainbows
Ashley Newton’s Rainbows ( (Photo Credit: Jonathan Macleod)


Visitors at Somerville Open Studios
Visitors to Firefly Arts Collective’s exhibition at Somerville Open Studios (Photo Credit: Keith Simmons)

Want to get involved where you live? Locate your local community here.

About the author: Iris Yee

Iris Yee

Iris Yee first set foot in Black Rock City in 2008, fueling her curiosity about innovative and diverse creative communities across the world. Raised in New York, she spent the next four years living in China and exploring much of Asia. Passionate about media and technology's potential to grow a better understanding of the world, she has worked with Media Mecca and the Regional Network. Iris will be highlighting regional Burning Man communities, their art and culture in the Burning Blog.

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