Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pittsburgh Festival of Lights October 1-17, 2010


October 1-17, 2010 – Various sites throughout Cultural District

PITTSBURGH, PA: The Pittsburgh Festival of Lights -- powered by Duquesne Light -- returns to the heart of Pittsburgh’s Cultural District under the auspices of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, October 1-17, 2010, dusk to midnight. In its fourth year, the event is designed to bring people to the Cultural District to enjoy the lights and much more, including great restaurants, hotels, theaters, and galleries. Visit for a map of all the locations.

Kicking off on Friday, October 1, during the Trust’s Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District, the Festival of Lights features a mixture of large outdoor lighting installations by UK-based artist Ross Ashton, a series of storefront projects by local artists and designers, and a variety of temporary lighting enhancements to the streetscape of Penn Avenue. Pittsburgh Festival of Lights is made possible through generous support from Duquesne Light.

Ross Ashton, noted creative director and projection artist, brings his energy to Pittsburgh this year, designing four major installations that take visitors on a lighting trail from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center to the back of Heinz Hall, home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Ashton is inspired by the culture of Pittsburgh as evidenced in “Old Bones,” a tribute to the Carnegie Museums of Natural History’s dinosaur collection and a vast façade installation at the Convention Center showcasing imagery from “Vatican Splendors: A Journey through Faith and Art,” an exhibit on display at the Heinz History Center, October 2, 2010 – January 9, 2011. The installations are:

“Splendors” - David L. Lawrence Convention Center, corner of 10th Street & Penn Avenue

“Hope”- Catholic Charities Building, Diocese of Pittsburgh, 9th St. between Liberty & Penn Avenues

“Old Bones” - Mahla Office Furniture, 713 Penn Avenue, viewed from 8th Street at Penn Ave.

“Cascade” - Heinz Hall, home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, 7th Street, between Liberty & Penn Avenues

Traveling down Penn Avenue, visitors will also find smaller light installations by local artists in storefronts, including those by students in the CMU School of Drama. Participating artists include Michael Berger, Matt Bialek, R. Grant Bobitski, Bart Cortland, Shawn Farester, Alicia Fronczek, Russell Gilbert, Joshua Hogan, Matthew Indovina, Cindy Limauro, Teddy Sosna, Milim Sung and Christine Whispell.

Temporary lighting enhancements include the lighting of Agnes R. Katz Plaza, a project of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust; Fountain of Hope at David L. Lawrence Convention Center (entrance on 10th Street at Penn Avenue); and transforming the color of the street lamps along on Penn Avenue, between 10th and Seventh Streets.

About Ross Ashton – Projection Artist
Ross Ashton was born in Sheffield in 1961. Having trained in photography and theater he moved to London and began to work in video and slide projection. After spending four years in Paris working with a variety of visual media, he began specializing in High Power Projection in 1992.

Ashton’s years of experience have produced an instinctive understanding of the relationship between artwork and structure, light and surface, object and subject. The size and scale of his work has led to both commissioned, stand-alone works and broader based large shows designed and created for national and international audiences. His commissioned piece ‘son et lumière’ has received worldwide attention.

“Many of the buildings that I work with are historically protected or world heritage sites,” commented Ashton. “It is not possible to physically manipulate these buildings in any way on a permanent basis. Re-manipulating the architecture within the projection allows the possibility of changing and re-imagining these buildings on a transitory basis.”

He added, “It is a great pleasure to be back in Pittsburgh. I am looking forward to working here again. I feel at home here, being from a transformed steel town myself.”

Project acknowledgements for the Pittsburgh Festival of
Lights -- powered by Duquesne Light -- include: Alco Parking, Allegheny City Electric, August Wilson Center for African American Culture, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Pittsburgh, City of Pittsburgh, Department of Public Works, Courtyard by Marriott, Downtown Pittsburgh, EQT, Heinz Hall - home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Mahla Office Furniture, Mark’s Grille and Catering, moxie DaDA, Pittsburgh Parking Authority, RIDC, Rugby Realty, Senator John Heinz History Center, Sports & Exhibition Authority.


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