News

Luminescence Opens October 18th at Saugatuck Center for the Arts

The Saugatuck Center for the Arts (SCA) will premier an ambitious indoor-outdoor exhibition featuring interactive, light-infused artwork, Friday, October 18, 2019 from 6:30 – 9:00 p.m. The kickoff party, free and open to the public, features Detroit-based art rock quartet, Saajtak, along with food trucks, cash bar, and hands-on creative activities for all ages.

Luminescence, housed in the Bertha Kruger Reid Gallery, runs October 18, 2019 – January 3, 2020.

Playful Spaces, an installation in the SCA’s rain garden, runs October 18, 2019 – March 2020. The exhibition and the opening community party are free of charge. Additional details at sc4a.org.

Luminescence is an interactive exhibit that prompts passive viewers to become active participants, redefining the typical viewer-viewed relationship by creating a responsive, hands-on experience. The show is built around the exciting light-infused artwork of artists Simon Alexander-Adams, Patrick Ethen, and Cuppetelli and Mendoza shown in tandem with the massive building-spanning installation, Playful Spaces, by Jeremy Barnett and Jason Maracani.

Playful Spaces is a visible line of color and light that will travel throughout the SCA’s outdoor and indoor spaces as a means of invitation to come inside, experience, and play.

Made from wood and over-sized sticks to form cohesive linear energy throughout the SCA’s building, the installation will wrap in and around our outdoor red arches, pop up throughout the building, and crash into the gallery space to interact with the work in Luminescence. By using everyday, touchable, and temporary materials, the artists create a work that is simultaneously massive and approachable for children and adults.

“By mashing up art, electrical engineering, design, and physics we’re presenting a unique experience with the goal of expanding how we define – and play with – art,” said SCA Exhibition & Education Manager Whitney Valentine. “The opening party is an invitation to come play, explore and be dazzled. Saajtak will be playing outdoors under the pavilion, backed with a super cool light show.”

All of the work in Luminescence and Playful Spaces has an element of light to view, to touch, to alter. Many pieces will include sources of constant light that the viewer will be able to shift or reset through his/her interaction.

Simon Alexander-Adams’ work Umbra, created for this exhibition, is an interactive installation allowing participants to construct virtual structures by placing objects onto illuminated surfaces. These surfaces will transform everyday objects into tangible interfaces, allowing the audience to manipulate dynamic generative video using their hands, objects in their pockets, or an assortment of materials provided at the installation.

“We’re thrilled to introduce Simon, Patrick, Annica and Cristobal to West Michigan viewers,” Valentine said. “They’re all making cutting edge  artwork and redefining how people are able to experience art and even become part of the exhibition itself. People of all ages will be captivated, though we hope young people are especially excited by this intersection of light, science, imagination and creativity.”

Meet the Artists
Annica Cuppetelli and Cristobal Mendoza began collaborating as Cuppetelli and Mendoza in 2010. They create installations and objects that combine physical elements with digital technologies, composing sensual, immersive and dynamic experiences. Patrick Ethen is a light artist and designer exploring the intersection of technology and humanity, the relation between analog and digital systems, and the mechanisms of mesmerization. He uses light to represent levels of actuation, and simple rules to generate emergent behavior. The result is a stream of continuously new patterns and textural information within a consistent data structure. “I make physical objects because I value real-world experiences, real phenomena. Receiving light is a visceral experience that is able to impact us emotionally, and my aim is to pull on these strings.”

Simon Alexander-Adams is a Detroit-based multimedia artist and designer working within the intersection of music, visual arts and technology. He specializes in real-time generative art, interactive installations and audiovisual performances. He is inspired by the emergent patterns found in nature and uses complex systems to simulate natural phenomena in the pursuit of organic textures and surprising interactions. He also draws on a love of fractals.

Jeremy Barnett and Jason Maracani are both educators and set designers. They have designed numerous sets for Mason Street Warehouse at the SCA, and work collaboratively to create large-scale structures of organic forms made from unexpected materials. Jeremy and Jason attribute their excitement about responsive engagement to their theatre backgrounds. “To be a student of theatre is to be a student of human nature,” Jeremy says. “It’s to navigate how we respond and to have a sense of human patterns.”

Luminescence Programming
● September: Much of the large scale installation, Playful Spaces, requires hands-on community engagement. Throughout the month of September, area schools, clubs, and groups will be invited to paint sticks that will be used in the installation. If you are interested in adding your
mark to this larger work please contact erindrews@sc4a.org.
● Friday, October 18: Come for the opening reception for Luminescence from 6:30-9:00 p.m.
Enjoy this unique indoor-outdoor experience with live music, local food, cash bar, and hands-on art projects for children and families.
● October-December: For the duration of the show, the SCA will host school field trips. In early
December several of the artists will be onsite to help lead creative S.T.E.A.M. programming inspired by the exhibit. If you are interested in scheduling a visit or partnering for Luminescence programming, please contact erindrews@sc4a.org.

Sponsors for Luminescence and Playful Spaces include Perrigo, Consumers Energy, Allegan County Community Foundation, Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs.