2 colorful, interactive public art installations will light up the Seaport this winter

They're the follow-up to last year's musical seesaws.

Public art installation "Loop," shown here in Montreal, debuts in the Seaport on Friday. –Ulysse Lemerise

After the success of last year’s glowing, musical seesaws, the Seaport is bringing more colorful public art installations to the area this winter season. This time it will be in the form of cylinders and prisms.

The Seaport has partnered with Canadian art production company Creos for Loop, which debuts Friday and runs through Feb. 17, and Prismatica, which opens Feb. 9 and runs through April 1.

“The seesaws were so well received that when we were in talks with Creos to do something similar, the question was, ‘How can we make it even more exciting?'” said Debra Brodsky, head of marketing for the Seaport.

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The Seaport felt strongly about debuting the colorful, interactive art during Boston’s winter months.

“Winter is a really challenging time to get outside, to find things to enjoy outside and have new experiences,” Brodsky said. “For us, these accomplish all that.”

You’ll find Loop at One Seaport Courtyard. On its website, Creos describes the art as “a retro, futuristic fairy-tale,” a cross between a music box, a zeotrope, and a railway handcar. Visitors can hop two at a time into one of six illuminated, moving cylinders and pump a lever to bring a classic fairy tale to life.

“They’re giant hamster wheels, and you get to climb inside and, instead of running, you are basically engaging with the wheel by pulling a handle back and forth,” Brodsky said. “It’s really neat. The faster you pull the handle, the faster the images that are all inside the loop will play. It kind of takes on a flip-book quality.”

“Prismatica,” shown here in Montreal, will debut Feb. 9 in the Seaport. —Cindy Boyce

Prismatica, debuting next month, is a series of 25 rotating prisms that stand 6.5 feet tall. The interactive kaleidoscopes will be installed along Seaport Boulevard, as well as in the Seaport Common and at One Seaport Courtyard.

“You can walk up to them and spin them,” Brodsky said. “As they spin, their light reflection will change and the music will actually emanate from the prism.”

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According to the Creos website, the prisms are made of panels covered with a dichroic film that reflects the colors of the rainbow, which vary depending on the light and viewing angle. Each prism is mounted on a base that contains a projector that illuminates the object at night. When visitors spin the prisms, they’ll hear the sound of bells.

“They’re pretty awesome at night because you really see the light-up effect,” Brodsky said. “They’ll be much subtler during the day.”

Brodsky suggested heading to the Seaport between Feb. 9 and Feb. 17, the final week of Loop and the opening week of Prismatica.

“There’s going to be one power week where you can kind of enjoy everything in one fell swoop,” she said. “The visuals will be spectacular.”

Loop will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and Prismatica will be available 24 hours a day. There is no cost to view and interact with the public art.

Watch: Checking out Loop at the Seaport

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