See Spartanburg in a new light

The City of Spartanburg recently received $1 million in funding from the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge.  The humanitarian program was conceived to support art projects that celebrate creativity, enhance urban identity, encourage public-private partnerships, and drive economic development.    The City’s winning entry was one of four selected from a pool of 237 entries nationwide.  The project, Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light, brings nine LED art installations to public spaces in ten neighborhoods throughout the city.  The grand opening ceremony on October 4, 2016 coincided with the National Night Out, an annual event that promotes crime prevention efforts, police-community partnership, and neighborhood camaraderie.

Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light is a collaboration among the City of Spartanburg Police and Community Relations Departments, light artist Erwin Redl, the Chapman Cultural Center, and neighborhood associations within the City of Spartanburg to transform open spaces and create safer, more vibrant neighborhoods.  Each site is tailored to its specific environment, exploring artistic opportunities through light-based solutions.  The scale, medium, and design vary significantly, ranging from simple workshop based video projections and smaller installations to large-scale illumination of two tall smokestacks towering to a height of 180’.

Griven USA, manufacturer of dynamic LED façade, accent, and high power illumination products assisted the design team over several months on two of the high profile installations.  The sites were comprised of two historic 1890’s era smokestacks from former textile mills; one located on the campus of Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in the Northside, and the other at the former Beaumont Mill in Beaumont Village.

Austrian light artist, Erwin Redl, approached the lighting design of the iconic smokestacks as two synchronized, large-scale canvasses.  He utilized high-power RGBW illumination projectors to bathe the surface of the worn brick to great effect.  Artistically, he views these artworks as a new way of seeing old structures, and celebrating the spirit of innovation and imagination of these icons from Spartanburg’s textile industry past.

Griven’s PowerShine D high-performance projector systems in RGBW provided the lighting and output performance Redl envisioned.  Projector systems were spaced around each of the structures with individual luminaires on the dual unit system precisely aimed to ensure coverage along the entire diameter and length of the smokestacks.  Color sequencing from an external DMX control system allowed the freedom to tailor color-changing scenes specifically for the event.  The two installations were the culmination of the grand opening program, which featured a spectacular fireworks display. 

The installations add vibrancy through art to the neighborhoods over the long term, but have achieved a much greater impact on the communities by using art to inspire change.  By design, the grand opening coincided with National Night Out.  Jennifer Evins, CEO of Chapman Cultural Center and Project Director for Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light, remarked, “It will be transformative as a light art project, but it’s also the process of relationships that we’ve built…  It’s using art as a catalyst to address important issues that are facing the city.  Celebrating the new relationships that have come out of this with our community and our police officers is really the greatest triumph.”

Terry O’Toole, Nordeon Group North America COO, parent of Griven USA, said, “It was a real honor to have been selected to participate in this remarkable project, and it speaks to our international presence.”

For more information on Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light, click on this link:  http://seeingspartanburg.com/

 

 

 

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