Washington D.C. is known to have many different types of historical monuments, museums, history, and more. The Georgetown Glow is an impressive installation that occurs yearly in Georgetown. With vibrant colors and ethereal exhibitions, it’s surely a must-see for locals and beyond.
The Georgetown Glow is a free art installation that is scattered around Georgetown, Washington D.C. The neon lights are best seen at night as it illuminates M street, Washington Harbor, K street, South Street, and Georgetown Park. Many of the artists that are showcased really took their time to create their concepts, structures, effects, and presentations to perfection. Not to mention, with the contemporary aesthetic of the neon lights, the instillations make for perfect photo ops.
Since 2014, every year they showcase new artists featuring various mediums.. Some of the installations are interactive. This year’s Georgetown Glow featured five different artists. The first one on the map, Leandro Mendes.
Mendes presents us with his installation called Light Falls, illuminating M street. This art showcases many tubes as they fall from the top of the roof to the ground. With many of the neon lights being presented, the light effects not only give an amazing light show, but it’s also like a waterfall with sounds that play during the show. The best way that I can describe it is it plays rainforest white noises and waterfall effects as it hits rocks on the bottom of the tubes.
Mendes’s light fall would be a staple to his art, as DC isn’t the first location for Light Falls. He would have art shows around the world from Amsterdam, to Brazil, Greece, Argentina, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. There were some differences between some of the shows where he presented Light Falls, some stood bigger than others.
After seeing Light Falls, the second art installation is located on K street near the Harbor. This installation is called the Picto Sender Machine. The Picto Sender Machine is created by Felipe Pardo, an artist from Chile who uses art, technology, and lights to create an image on a huge 1200-pixel screen (lower quality than the first digital camera photo). When the guest steps in front of an Xbox 360 Kinect (a video game camera that allowed users to play games using their body instead of a controller) would display their silhouette following their movement and display it on the giant screen.
This experience was fun to see, as I saw visitors would play, dance, and move around the screen. My partner and I had a blast with this one, as it was nearing nighttime. This light installation really made K street a bit brighter.
Prado initially released this installation in 2018 during the Amsterdam Light Festival 7th Edition. Prado is a man of different talents who has used lighting as a major special effect, co-directions, and creator of many different works of art. His recent work has entailed being creative director for a music video Latina Artist Nicole with her song Visión Nocturna.
Following the map, the third installation to see is Alicia Eggert’s All the Lights You See. This installation was just a simple one. Located near Georgetown Harbor between the intersection of Wisconsin Ave and K Street, this installation is just a sign that says “All the Lights You See From the Past.” The lights would flicker between every other second and different words of the phrase would be lit then all of it would be lit.
Eggert is from Texas and has showcased many art pieces around the US and even had international shows in Portugal, Russia, and Amsterdam. The art she creates is inspirational quotes from different types of physics and philosophy. The reason why she uses neon lights in her art is so that the bridge between reality and possibility isn’t too far, and is achievable.
Currently, Eggert has two other showcases happening simultaneously with Georgetown Glow. She has one in San Francisco at Fort Mason Center as well as the Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C. My personal favorite of her work is the one where the lights say “You are on a mountain.” I like this because the lights, clouds, and atmosphere really give it a personality.
The second to last one from the Georgetown Glow following the map leads us to the Grace Church on Wisconsin Ave. Masamichi Shimada, a Japanese artist, brings the Georgetown Glow, Butterfly Effect.
When visiting the installations, there are six butterflies scattered around the park. Shimada uses metaphors about the butterflies to represent unpredictability to everyone. One moment can be peaceful and chill, while the next moment everything can go to hell or not in your favor. But having a person who cares can change the world to make a difference.
Originally from Japan, Shimada created 10 art installations that debuted in Japan while some were released internationally. Butterfly Effect installation debuted and was showcased in the eighth edition of the Amsterdam Light Festival in 2019 and was re-showcased in 2021. It also was showcased at Denmark’s festival Aarhus Festuge.
My personal favorite that I wish I got to witness is Riku X Tomo. Not only does this installation provide good colors and lights, but the meaning behind it is also much deeper. This installation was installed in the city of Rikuzentaka, Japan. The effects of the March 11, 2011, earthquake in Japan still affect the town four years later. Shimada created this installation to help the residents of Rikuzentaka to see at night and provide temporary housing to affected families after the earthquake. Any donations that Shimada got, were donated to the residents of Rikuzentaka to help rebuild their town and provide help for families in need. This was really my favorite.
Finally, we get to the end of our trip. On the map, the last installation piece that was showcased at the Georgetown Glow is the Cloud Swings. The Cloud Swings are located at East Market Lane on M street.
. With three sets of cloud swings, each swing would change colors between pink, blue, and white while you were swinging on it. When swinging on these, it feels like you’re a kid again, going higher and higher like you’re reaching the sky. This was my personal favorite out of all the five art installations that were presented in Georgetown Glow.
Lindsay Glatz and William Nemitoff are the ones to thank for this installation. Glatz is the one responsible for designing the art of the swings, while Nemitoff is the one who created and formed the actual swings.
Glatz is the creative director of Art New Orleans, a neon light installation at Luna Fete. Just like Artechouse, it's an interactive installation building that shows much different interactive light shows that guests and visitors enjoy.
Nemitoff built the swing sets for the installation. One of his most recent installations I would’ve liked to see in person is his installation in Coral Springs, Florida titled, COALESCENECE. This installation shows flowers on a neon light which reacts to sounds on the plant and leaves. This would’ve been a great one to see in person.
Overall, the Georgetown Glow is a fun experience to attend if you’re in the Washington D.C. area. Seeing the colors pop out at night really brings more colors of Georgetown at night. This could be a great hang out with your family and friends, possibly a date night, and if you need a new photo post for social media posts.
There are many other things to do in Georgetown as well, like visiting Georgetown Cupcakes, Glossier, and more. Visiting the Georgetown Glow before it leaves D.C. is highly recommended, available to attend until January 22.
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