For many of us this winter seems a bit longer and darker than usual. With spring almost here, we look forward to a new season of events and festivals that encourage creativity and transform darkness into glowing artistry!
My world completely changed when I went to Disneyland for the first time as a young child. I don’t remember a lot about the trip, but I do remember two things. I was terrified of all the characters with their giant hands and how eager they were to make me smile, and how the Electrical Light Parade blew my mind. It wasn’t just the melodic score that had me begging to watch the parade again, it was the amazing way the parade combined motion, music, and glow. I have been a fan of glow ever since.
While the Disneyland floats I saw as a child relied on older lighting technologies, today’s most dazzling projects incorporate new technologies such as LED’s and high performance glow in the dark materials.
If you love watching, or better yet, creating your own glowing art installations or vehicles, you will want to check out these events.
Vivid Sydney May 22, 2015
Not that you ever need an excuse to visit one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but if you did need an extra push, check out Sydney, Australia. The Vivid Sydney event is the perfect reason to start packing your bags today.
Vivid Sydney bills itself as a festival of lights, music, and ideas. While the music and ideas are great, once you visit the festival you can be pretty sure it’s the brilliant lights that attract over a million visitors last year.
Last year, over 140 artists from 15 different countries transformed downtown Sydney into a giant 18-night glowing art exhibit. The work done on the landmark Sydney Opera House was particularly stunning, especially when viewed from across the harbor where the full reflection could be seen. Artists used high performance glow materials to brighten the most familiar parts of the city, creating an entirely new feel and atmosphere.
Check out the inspiring pictures from the 2014 Vivid Sydney festival athttp://www.vividsydney.com/light.
Electric Forest June 25, 2015
This three-day festival in Rothbury, Michigan, is everything a festival devoted to art and community projects should be. It explores some of the more creative uses of glow in the dark materials in a magical forest setting.
While the incredible Electric Forest itself is the main attraction of the festival, there is also music, food, and plenty of live entertainment. The festival is relatively young, having first debuted in 2011, but it has already established itself as a must do for serious glow art aficionados. The organizers at the Electric Forest also go out of their way to help new artists fund art projects and participate in the festival.
For more information and to see some great pics check out the festival website athttp://www.electricforestfestival.com/.
Burning Man August 30, 2015
In many ways, Burning Man is almost too complex and beautiful to put into words. It’s nearly impossible to fully describe to those who haven’t experienced the event. Burning Man focuses on creating an intellectual and spiritual experience combined with extraordinary art installations. To some who have never attended, there may be an impression this event is one giant, weeks-long party. But for most devotees, it is one of the truly cutting edge experiments of art and human expression anywhere in the world.
The theme for the art installations at this year’s Burning Man is “Carnival of Mirrors”. While Burning Man’s art installations are not solely devoted to glow art, this celebration takes place in the middle of the desert, where comfortable temperatures occur after the sun goes down, and always has its share of amazing glow art. With a special focus on mirrors and carnivals, this year promises to have more than the usual amount of glowing magic.
If you thrive on experiencing original and almost primal art, you owe it to yourself to make the trip to Burning Man at least once. For a look at some of the best art from years past check out this gallery http://matadornetwork.com/nights/12-coolest-art-installations-in-the-history-of-burning-man/.
Glow Santa Monica September 2016
While still a year away, Glow is worth planning in advance. This festival only happens once every three years, so if you miss it, it’s going to be a long wait for the next one.
Glow was the first all-night art event in the U.S. emphasizing commissioned original artwork. Examples of past Glow exhibits can be found at the event website.
The focus of Glow projects is audience engagement and exploration. This show is the ultimate example of the power of creative expression. Looking at exhibits from past years illustrate the variety of glow art projects possible from talented artists using wide-open spaces. With the beautiful Santa Monica beach as a backdrop for this all-night art event, it’s hard to find a better festival that celebrates glow art the same style as this one.
For a well curated listing of the world’s best festivals you may wish to check out this site: https://www.fest300.com/. You may find creative inspiration at these exciting venues for your own unique glowing art projects!