Lighting isn’t just a practical necessity to illuminate paths or provide safety. It’s also a beautiful form of art. We all know how stunning neighborhoods look when they shine bright with icicles, reindeer, and glowing trees. That’s why Georgetown has taken these holiday decorations one step further and created a unique way to enjoy the season of light. Georgetown GLOW is an art exhibition that is made up entirely of light displays. The inaugural event was held last year, and because of its popularity, the festival has been expanded into a 10-day celebration that starts on Friday. Set in DC’s oldest neighborhood, the exhibition will feature five works of art that were specifically designed for the sites where they will be displayed. The works are intended to encourage visitors to observe and interact with the natural environment, and many of them are concentrated around the C&O Canal. The suggested path for viewing begins along the canal and winds through the city’s historic side streets.
- Laia Cabrera and Isabelle Duverger (NY) created a Shifting Gaze, a film installation about choice, desire, and memory. It will be projected on the C&O Canal Wall at 1064 Georgetown Avenue.
- Arthur Gallice & Herve Orgeas (Shanghai/DC) took inspiration from the art of calligraphy to create a series of hand-drawn portraits. Originally prints and sculptures, the works were enhanced with light to create WIRED People Project: The Lovers. It will be displayed under the Wisconsin Avenue Bridge.
- The collectives SHO and ULF (Pittsburgh/Gainesville, LF/Boston) modeled their installation after swaying prairie grasses. Intr(e)Scapes is an interactive lightscape made up of more than 400 glowing acrylic stalks lit by RGB LEDs. Using infrared imaging, visitors’ movements are tracked, and the exhibit reacts to these movements by creating waves of light animation. The illuminated prairie is located in the Foundry Building Plaza at 1055 Thomas Jefferson Street.
- Kelly Towles (DC) is known throughout the city for his large-scale murals, but for Georgetown GLOW, he ventured into video and light projection. A Happy Place brings his world to life by adding motion to his typically static art. The projection can be viewed from 7-9 pm in the Jefferson Court Office Building Courtyard at 1025 Thomas Jefferson Street.
- Hiroshi Jacobs of HIJAC (DC) created iGlow, “a corridor of lights that puts its occupants on display, pixelating their image to express analog digitization of motion.” Lined with lights on one side and a screen on the other, the sculpture projects the activity within the outside world. Visitors can step inside the exhibit at Grace Church Lawn at 1041 Wisconsin Avenue.
The festival begins Friday, December 11th, and runs through Sunday, December 20th, with works lit from 6-10 pm nightly. The event is presented by the Georgetown Business Improvement District and is free to the public. To find your way through the exhibits, check out the map on the event website. During the 10-day installation, there will be several other coinciding events.
- The Artists’ Talk on Saturday, December 12th from 4:30-6 pm offers interested visitors a chance to meet and chat with the artists to learn more about their work. This program is also free, but RSVPs are required.
- GLOW guests can enjoy half-price admission ($5) to the Washington Harbour skating rink during the festival. Just mention GLOW or show your bracelet or map to receive the discount.
- During both weekends of Georgetown GLOW, there will be live outdoor musical performances at 6:30 pm on the lawn of Grace Church. Check the website for details.
- Shoppers can take a self-guided tour of Georgetown’s storefronts, which will be decorated for the 4th annual Holiday Window Competition. Vote for your favorite window display on the Georgetown Facebook event page.
The holiday season is a magical time, especially when homes and businesses are glowing in celebration. If you’re considering adding a little sparkle to your home, contact Enlightened Lighting to learn more. From our family to yours, we hope you enjoy the most wonderful time of year and take a moment to enjoy the lights!