Let There Be Light celebrates the approach of winter solstice and the longest night of the year with light-based art installations created by a selection of some of the most imaginative local and regional artists. The exhibition illuminates and transforms the darkened grounds surrounding the V. Earl Dickinson Building for one night only.
Over the past eleven years, this annual tradition has grown to entice thousands of visitors of all ages to bundle up with coats and mittens, pick up a map of exhibits, and set out to explore the landscape in search of both large-scale and hidden installations that invite interaction, evoke wonder and delight, and inspire reflection.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ new Artmobile traveling gallery will be onsite for its Charlottesville debut with its inaugural exhibition, “How Far Can Creativity Take You? VMFA Fellowship Artists.” The exhibition explores the history and impact of VMFA’s fellowship program, the largest of its kind in the United States, and features works by past fellowship recipients such as Nell Blaine, Sally Mann, Benjamin Wigfall, Cy Twombly and others. In addition to being open to the public during Let There Be Light, the Artmobile will be open at PVCC on Saturday, Dec. 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Other highlights of this year’s Let There Be Light include:
- Tunnel Vision, a 30-foot kaleidoscopic light tunnel by returning favorite and former cinematic special effects technician Circe Strauss
- Now/Now, a performance project by visual artist Bolanle Adeboye and cellist and composer Wes Swing that incorporates viewer-created audio loops and light installations
- Recent PVCC graduate Ashtin Bowman’s Swarm of Constellations, a series of bioluminescent jellyfish sculptures suspended in the night sky
- Visual and technology artist Jeff Dobrow’s Global Fidelity, a multi-angle video projected onto a diorama and set to a global DJ mix
- Experimental filmmaker Alexandria Searls’ Birds of the Water, a video loop projected into a bowl of water within a grove of trees
Several PVCC art faculty members will present work including Fenella Belle’s Nocturnal Critters, a lively installation of creatures that reveal themselves as viewers search the edge of the woods with flashlights; Will May’s Corona, a site-specific installation using helium, air and light; Ed Miller’s Figure of Light and Water, an illuminated sculpture floating in a lake, plus much more.
Let There Be Light is curated by local artist James Yates, whose primary aim in his work is to “re-enchant our experience of the world.” Visitors to the exhibition are encouraged to bring a flashlight and come dressed as “enlightened beings,” decorating themselves with light to add to the festivities. Hot chocolate, warm cider, and other refreshments will be provided.
Rain date: Saturday, Dec. 8, 6 - 9 p.m.
Image: Angels/Over Exposure, detail, Ted Coffey, Let There Be Light, 2017. Photo: Ézé Amos.