The Lamplighter on Display at Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts

The Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts (RRCA) partners with artists Tyler and Ashley Voorhees (Glenn, MI) to present The Lamplighter. This stunning sculpture will be on display beginning Friday, December 4, next to the Christmas tree in downtown Manistee. The Lamplighter is an interactive sculpture for people to enjoy safely and yet, encourage togetherness.

The Lamplighter harks back to the early days when the streets of most towns and cities were lit by gas lamps. By means of long poles, ladders, and even tall bikes, these lamps had to be lit each night as dusk turned to darkness. Lamplighters provided not only light but also safety in their communities. More than just a job, these harbingers of light represent a way of life: illuminating darkness.

The Lamplighter sculpture is constructed with dozens of antiquated tools and man-made artifacts in a grand gesture to this humble worker of the past. You are invited to pedal the stationary bikes surrounding the sculpture to generate light.  This illumination is a nod to the light that we all carry within us. The Lamplighter symbolizes a collective connection to spread that light.

In a year of adaptation, artists Tyler and Ashley Voorhees have had to find new avenues to connect with patrons as their typical schedule of art festivals was upended by COVID-19. The Lamplighter sculpture was originally scheduled to be debuted at ArtPrize in Grand Rapids. After that event was added to the endless list of canceled events, the Voorhees duo searched out a new venue to unveil the sculpture. Xavier Verna, Executive Director of the RRCA, answered the call, and the stage was set for this momentous month-long exhibition.

The exhibition will run from Dec. 4 – Jan. 4.  This sculpture is supported by patrons of the arts, Arts Midwest, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, National Endowment for the Arts, The City of Manistee, and presented by the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts.