Fireflies in the Courtyard

Opening September 20th, the Rhode Island Historical Society will host the Firefly Grove in the courtyard of the John Brown House Museum. An art installation by China Blue, presented by The Engine Institute, Inc., the Firefly Grove will be on view through March, 2013.
The Firefly Grove is a light, sound and interactive installation in a group of trees. The artist translates the firefly’s rhythmic signaling pattern into sound, heard in FireflyChorus, and light, as seen in the blinking LEDs. The loss offireflies due to light pollution from cities makes them a succinct metaphor for the fragility of our ecosystem.
The lights were installed last week by two workers from E. F. O’Donnell & Sons, Inc. and I was lucky enough to be there when the work was being done. It was an interesting and collaborative process, proving to me the value of conversation, and the creative, problem-solving abilities all humans have. The installation was delightful and otherworldly even in process, and I am looking forward to seeing the final piece. I hope you’ll join us!
The exhibit opening will feature a performance of the Providence Youth Ballet at 5:30, 7:15 & 7:30. The Firefly Grove is funded in part by the Black Rock Arts Foundation, the City of Providence Department of Art, Culture and Tourism, and E. F. O’Donnell and Sons, Inc.
You can participate, too–don’t just see the art, be part of history!
Send us your firefly stories.
We’re also gathering stories of fireflies and favorite summer memories for a digital project to accompany the Firefly Grove. If you would like to share your story and possibly have it included in our project, please email Nathan Burbank at Note: by sharing your story with us, you give your consent to RIHS and The Engine Institute, Inc., use and reproduction rights of your story in whole or in part in print or online.
~ Kirsten Hammerstrom, Director of Collections

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