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PHOTO SAFARI: Behind the Scenes at “Lights”by Tim Miner & Brooke Brown on November 12, 2020
As we reported a few weeks ago, the “Lights” are back on at the US National Whitewater Center (USNWC). If the inaugural year is a gauge, scores of people will be drawn from across the Charlotte region to see the “Lights.”
But, an interactive exhibition of 500 pieces of illuminated art woven through a forest doesn’t just happen. It took artist Meredith Connelley and a team of nine artists and fabricators 10 weeks to create the pieces to be used and assemble them. Like the 250 pieces integrated into Lights last year, the 250 new pieces created for 2020 were heated, dyed, molded, cut and crafted by hand over a period of months.
Our friend and photographer, Brooke Brown, went on a Photo Safari into the “wilds” of the USNWC as the team integrated their handiwork into the landscape.
Walking the Trail of Creativity
“Meredith walked the WWC trail with me and showed me where different exhibits would be,” said Brooke. “We saw the beginning stages of lights going up around the trees. Ladders, harnesses and teamwork were required to hang the lights. As they were positioned, Meredith would fine-tune placement to be sure the final impact would be as she originally designed.”
Brooke’s art walk gave her insight into how carefully Meredith chooses the locations for each installation. She looks for places where her art and the landscape can blend into one another. One example is an area where large, lighted fabricated mushrooms are nestled with real mushrooms.
“They are all so down-to-earth and so talented,” said Brooke. “It was fun to learn that the team crosses generations. I met both a high school student and a grandmother … It was amazing to be in their space and see how much they enjoy the project and how much they enjoy each other. It showed in their smiles, in their laughter and in the art.”
“Lights” is expected to be on display until mid-February. Entry to lights is included in the USNWC parking fee.