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OFF THE WALL: OUTDOOR ART COLORS WINTER CHILL

A wonderful write-up in Dig Boston, on our newest public art piece “Lighthouse,” A collaborative work between goodgood and New American Public Art!

When winter hits, a dull gray gloom takes over Boston, but last night an outdoor installation of lights and projections in “Lighthouse” vibrantly colored the Boston Harbor Islands Pavilion.

At the pavilion, my eye immediately drew to the light screen somewhat reminiscent of the Lite-Brite kids game. A dazzling sight, the large screen illuminates continuous waves of multicolored lights.

The lighthouse structure looks like three mini teepees constructed out of canvas. Perched on top of a small stone building, the lighthouse projects a light scape out on to the ground with analogue projectors made from Fresnel lenses and LED lights.

Standing there in the dead of winter with 40 or so other people at the opening, there was a sense of collective awe to be witnessing the drive of a project up against a rainstorm with gusting winds on its opening day. Miraculously, the rain stopped during the 6 to 8 p.m. opening on Thursday, but that didn’t mean it still wasn’t freezing.

“It was an incredible turnout of true weather resistant Bostonians for the opening ceremony,” said public artist Dan Sternof Beyer.

The interactive aspect of the installation truly came alive with the dance performance of Yuka Takahashi. Gentle electronic music played, as her improvised movements floated in front of the multicolored light screen.

On braving the winter chill she said, “I have never performed in such cold weather. My breathing also visually appeared as a piece.”

The creators of “Lighthouse” featured above from left to right: Matthew Shanley, Karen Stein, Dan Sternof Beyer, Ben Gaydos and Kawandeep Virdee. (Namita Dharia is not pictured).

“We all shared roles in the ideation and development of the project. Lighthouse was a manifestation of collective imagination by six individuals with their own skill sets. Dan Beyer is a public artist and interaction designer; Namita Dharia is an architect and anthropologist; Matthew Shanley is a multimedia artist and programmer; Karen Stein is an artist, designer, Principal of goodgood Design; Kawan Virdee is an artist and programmer,” said Gaydos, who is a designer, filmmaker, and also a Principal of goodgood Design.

“Building together, building with our hands, that’s a great feeling. We were all into general ideas of color, play, interactivity,” said Virdee.

The organizations also involved in the installation include goodgood Design,New American Public ArtBoston CyberartsBoston Harbor Island Alliance and Rose F. Kennedy Greenway. The Greenway funded the project, and “Lighthouse” is part of the Greenway’s ongoing Winter Lights Series. “It was a great idea because it plays off the importance of light in winter when it gets dark so early. Like lighthouses for ships, the lighthouse installation is a beacon for the Greenway,” said Katelyn Littlejohn, the Greenway’s Arts and Communications Associate.

In Boston, the Greenway is known for promoting public art. “I am very happy to be a part of the public art scene here in Boston,” said Beyer.

Make sure to go check out the light display that will be up until mid March on the Boston Harbor Islands Pavilion, located between State Street and Atlantic Avenue.

Karen Stein