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AURORA 2010 :The Art of Light at Dallas Heritage Village

by Gail Sachson 22 Nov 2010 4:50 PM

So happy are we that guest blogger Gail Sachson made it to Aurora 2010 Friday night. Here’s her report on taking light to new levels in Old City Park.


Gail Sachson owns Ask Me About Art, offering lectures, tours and program planning. She is Vice-Chair of the Cultural Affairs Commission and a member of the Public Art Committee. She was honored to be the Juror for  the student awards of Aurora 2010.

Aurora 2010:The Art of Light, the dazzling November 19th  art event, kick-off to the annual Cedars Open Studios the next day, was quite a turn on!

Installed within the thirteen acre  living history history museum,  Dallas Heritage Village (Old City Park), Aurora lit up the night sky.

In asking artists to contribute work  which related to the theme of Light, organizer Joshua King, a prize-winning photographer and Cedar resident , said, “This is our time to grow and show Dallas that we the artists are the leaders to keeping a rich culture alive in our city… Just have fun... Be free to go places you might not have been able to go before in your work.” No work would be for sale, and there would not be an entrance fee.

King and multi-media artist Shane Pennington, a Dallas Art Slam 2010 winner,  with the help of Mark Stephens who promoted the student art entries and Melissa Prycer of Heritage Village, conceived the short-lived (7-10:00 p.m.) but lively public art project to literally shed light on the creativity of the Cedars neighborhood, where many fine artists live and work.

The gates opened at seven, and by eight, the parking lots looked filled with approximately six hundred visitors. Navigating the paths to the more than two dozen art light locations was made easy with maps and generous sponsorships by lighting companies, providing  glowing architectural cones and colorful washes of light swooshing across the  historical buildings.

Eighteenth  and nineteenth century buildings – the hotel, potter’s shed, church , depot and dentist’s office – provided the backgrounds for twenty-first century technology ,-LED lights, video, audio, computerized programming, fog machines and fluorescence. The videos of UTD  Senior former physics major turned artist, Janan Siam, won one of the student awards, a coveted apprenticeship with Cedar artist Bert Scherbarth. Her self-portrait video caressed the windows, doors and pillars of  the facade of a white clapboard house, adding to the film’s symbolism and other worldly appeal.

Light years away from wall-mounted, floor-based or table-top light sculpture, the park scene was reminiscent of glaring  neon advertisements, drive-in movies and mood-inducing night club environments. Food carts and music added to the evening’s festival atmosphere, while videos like Jeremy McKane’s underwater female swimmer lit up the side of the old school, exuding a contrasting spirituality, as did Pennington’s “I’m Blue” and King’s fog-filled flourescent room environment.

Aurora 2010 was deemed a success!  The artists had fun creating and viewers were enticed and surprised to discover art in unexpected places ” not normally reserved for fine art”. The lights were out by 11:00, and the evening was but a flickering memory with promises to shine on in 2011.

Photos from the evening here.