Downtown Raleigh Illuminate Art Walk will take you on a walk to 15 light-based art installations in Downtown Raleigh. It will be up from December 11th, 2020, to January 8th, 2021, and best enjoyed after the sun goes down.
This Art Walk is a partnership between Downtown Raleigh Alliance and VAE Raleigh, a hub for a diverse network of artists.
While you’re enjoying the Downtown Raleigh Illuminate Art Walk, please be sure to follow all the guidance from public health officials to keep yourself and everyone else safe.
You’ll find a map on Illuminate Art Walk’s website that will show you where each installation is, and there will be a sidewalk marker at each site.
Please take the time to learn about each artist!
Napoleon Wright II: Keep Moving Forward
407 Glenwood Avenue
Projected onto the Gramercy
Animation conveying change is inevitable. Moving forward is paramount.
Brandon Cordrey: Monotony
120 S Wilmington Street, Suite 106
This piece is the artist’s way of reflecting on how strange it is to live through something so tragic as a global pandemic but to be primarily plagued by monotony. The numbers become incomprehensible, the hurt is unimaginable, and the suffering is unrelatable. The only thing we can comprehend, imagine, and relate to, is the day to day. The same four walls, the same routine, the same Zoom calls. You want to get out and do something, to help people, to make a difference…but all of those actions run counter to what we need to do for the health and safety of our community. Staying at home, living in the monotony IS our way of helping. This piece is the artist’s way of channeling those feelings and that obvious and admitted privilege into something that hopefully breaks through the monotony. Something that reminds us to breathe and helps us appreciate that if we are lucky, we will get to see that some ole sun rise and set again tomorrow.
Derrick Beasley: DARC.EEE
160 Fayetteville Street
Using the principles that identify darkness as a tool to bring about elemental, emotional, and social change, DARC.EEE accelerators take its users through a transformation by accelerating the pathway through experiences of darkness. This particular portal creates a pathway to equitable ecological equilibrium.
Anthony Nelson Jr and Johnny Lee Chapman III: E=mc^2
120 S Wilmington Street, Suite 105
A lyric video with light-based dance and poetry. Subject matter will include energy, motion, and body chemistry; and, the choreography will serve as a visual representation of these themes with the incorporation of various lighting effects.
Lincoln Hancock: All the Stars in the Sky for 100 Nights
120 S Wilmington Street, Suite 103
About 2500 stars are visible on a clear night to the unaided eye. I’ve been thinking about this figure as a poetic denominator in a grim equation — a way to begin to comprehend a quarter-million lives lost to COVID-19 in this country alone. This installation tries to do the math, but it’s also about the inability of a number to account for the human toll. Plato thought every soul had a companion star… even if we count every one of them for a hundred nights over, what can we know about what we’ve lost?
Andrew Preiss: Advent Star
118 S Person Street
Metal sculpture built with steel conduit.
Glas: Esse Quam Videri
23 W Hargett Street
Neon sign displaying North Carolina’s state motto. Translated from Latin, Esse Quam Videri means “To be rather than to seem.”
510 W Martin Street
Raleigh Union Station
Glas: Three Necessities: Bright Thoughts that Lead Us
409 W Martin Street
Three neon signs promoting positivity, hope, and kindness.
Hank Willis Thomas: LOVERULES
302 S West Street
Father & Sons Antiques
The neon sign’s six-foot-tall letters blink a sequence of words — LOVE, OVER, RULES.
Danielle James: Swan Dive
309 W Martin Street
Danielle James was inspired to create this piece following a conversation with the owners of High Tide Salon. Having short hair, Danielle is always amazed by people who have long flowing locks, let alone style them. This design takes into consideration the modern aesthetic of the interior space while slightly nodding to an art deco and nautical inspiration.
124 E Martin Street
Large rolling letter display with neon features.
Matt McConnell: Evolution Field
301 Fayetteville Street
Evolution Field is a triple layer moiré wall that blends color and light in visual waves reminiscent of galaxy forms. The work is meant to reflect on the complexity of layering energy and relationships, which shifts with only the slightest change.
Katie Stewart: Rainglow
401 Fayetteville Street
“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” – Dolly Parton
This installation explores accepting life’s challenges, dependent upon the assumption that something better awaits us on the other side. It’s the anticipation of something unattainable – the idea of a perfect explosion of happiness. A glowing rainbow explosion. This pandemic will not last forever. We can emerge from this storm to see the rainbow, stepping over the broken parts of us left along the way. It represents the pursuit of an impossible ideal but one we must cling to in order to keep going.
Brian Brush: SONARC
2 E South Street
Duke Energy Center
SONARC is made of 1,000 plexiglass tubes and 600 LED lights hung in a semicircle frame meant to represent open arms welcoming guests to the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Individuals can interact with the sculpture by singing into a microphone causing Sonarc to emit patterns and different colors of light based on the pitch.
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