Iridescent art fixtures from more than a dozen local artists will light up the streets of downtown Raleigh this month.

Illuminate Art Walk will kick off December 11 and run through January 8. The exhibit, which will sprawl on storefronts and plazas throughout downtown, is being done in partnership between the Downtown Raleigh Alliance and VAE Raleigh.

The project will feature 19 light installations, five of which will be permanent, that reflect on themes ranging from movement, love, and imagining life after the pandemic. 

Residents are encouraged to wear a mask as they embark on a self-guided tour of the fixtures. 

“Illuminate lights up our downtown and supports local artists, while providing a fun and safe way to experience downtown,” said DRA CEO Bill King. “While downtown for Illuminate, support local and pick up dinner to-go or grab a hot chocolate or sweet treat to enjoy on your art walk.”

Featured artists include Robin Vuchnich, Derrick Beasley, Brandon Cordrey, Lincoln Hancock, and Danielle James, among others. 

Cordrey’s installation will include light projected onto 1,000 brown paper bags to express “how strange it is to square the monotony of quarantine with the devastating effects of a global pandemic,” while Hancock will use light to illustrate the incomprehensible expanse of the night sky.

Artist Katie Stewart’s installation draws inspiration from Dolly Parton’s often quoted “if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain,” by constructing “a glowing rainbow explosion.”

To see a full list of artists and installations, visit the Downtown Raleigh Alliance website here.  You can find a map of the art walk below. 

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