The City of Coral Gables is turning on the lights in 2021! Illuminate Coral Gables (ICG) is a new public art initiative focusing on the intentional use of light and technology to transform public art by day into magical and mysterious work at night.
The public art initiative will be on view Feb. 12 – Mar. 14, 2021. Curated by Lance Fung with Catherine Cathers, Jennifer Easton, and Rosie Gordon-Wallace, ICG, has been created for specific outdoor locations throughout Coral Gables. ICG’s eight projects include video projections, sculpture, and art installations by a stellar group of local, national, and international artists including Kiki Smith and Cai Guo-Qiang. Seven of the artworks are new site-specific commissions. ICG is a project of the Coral Gables Community Foundation.
Blue Night, sponsored by the City of Coral Gables is Smith’s project, which will be installed in Giralda Plaza, and is a continuation of her interest in constellations. Forty-two suspended mirrored renderings of animal constellations from both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres will reflect light through transparent blue backgrounds: holographic vinyl denotes the stars that comprise the constellations. An Augmented Reality (AR) component will enable viewers to see ghosted constellation images and asterism on their devices throughout the day and night. A free downloadable artist coloring book will be available.
Cai Guo-Qiang’s Fireflies is being exhibited in South Florida for the first time. This project was commissioned by the Association for Public Art (APA) with Fung Collaboratives and was first presented in Philadelphia in 2017. The project was curated by Lance Fung. Major support was received from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. This interactive and mesmerizing public artwork will roam through downtown adding color and joy through handmade Chinese silk lanterns.
• Cai Guo-Qiang
• Carlos Estevez
• David Gumbs
• Ruben Millares
• Joseph Mills
• Jonathan Perez and FIU student artists including Jennifer Hudock, Heather Kostrna, L’nique Noel, Tara Remmen, Ari Temkin, and Emily Silverio-Williams
• Sandra Ramos
• Kiki Smith
• Antonia Wright
ICG’s educational component, through a partnership with Florida International University’s Department of Art and Art History, will include a projection-mapped video and sound-based work that focuses on the intersection of the natural and built environment of South Florida and the City of Coral Gables.
Artist Carlos Estevez has created an educational tool and interactive artwork in collaboration with Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Through a demonstration video, Estevez hopes to inspire and help students and their families to make kites that are based on identity, self-portraiture, and inclusivity. This video will be available online for free.
By initiating ICG, the Coral Gables Community Foundation is using art and culture as a beacon of resiliency, community strength, and support for the City’s residents and visitors for its vital small business community while realizing a museum-quality exhibition. Envisioned as a new and annual public art benchmark, ICG organizers recognize that residents and visitors will be able to experience high-quality art while downtown. Once the pandemic struck, it was clear that ICG was the perfect exhibition for tough times because it is free and can be safely navigated outdoors by foot, bicycle, or vehicle. Measures to ensure safety and social distancing will be used such as hand sanitizing stations and social distancing markers. Facial coverings will be required.
For more information, visit www.illuminatecoralgables.org.
(Photo: Example of Capricorn constellation by Kiki Smith for her site-specific installation titled Blue Night)