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Illuminate Art Walk 2023

December 1st, 2023 - January 5th, 2024

Free to the public and self-guided

Shining nightly beginning at 4:45pm*


Downtown Raleigh comes to light every holiday season with Illuminate Art Walk. Since the winter of 2020, Downtown Raleigh Alliance has brought energy to our Main Street–and beyond–with large-scale, interactive, and light-based art pieces.

In addition to the signature piece, Talking Heads, this year’s show features local North Carolina light artists. Many of the pieces are stunning tributes to the wildlife of our state and others are celebration of our innovative past, present, and future as a community.

We encourage everyone to take photos with the installations so tag us for a chance to be featured!

Sip N’ Stroll your way through Illuminate Art Walk - find participating bars & restaurants.

TALKING HEADS WILL NOT BE ON DISPLAY THE LAST DAY OF ILLUMINATE, FRIDAY JANUARY 5TH.

 

Sponsored By
In Partnership With

Wireframe

Limelight

1

Downtown Raleigh Alliance:
Downtown Raleigh Christmas Tree

2 E South St
Lichtin Plaza

Downtown Raleigh Christmas Tree

The Downtown Raleigh Christmas Tree is a staple of the city's holiday season, beaming its light down Fayetteville Street for all to see. 

2

Mosca Design:
Tinsel: A Walk Through Ornament

2 E South St
Martin Marietta Center for the Performin

Tinsel: A Walk Through Ornament

This sparkly adornment to the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts is comprised of 2,460 lights and stands 16 feet tall. 

3

Brian Brush:
SONARC

2 E South St
Martin Marietta Center for the Performin

SONARC

SONARC is made of 1,000 plexiglass tubes and 600 LED lights hung in a semicircle frame meant to represent open arms welcoming guests to the Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts.

Follow Brian Brush on Instagram at @brian.brush

4

Katie Stewart:
Carolina Cacophony

555 Fayetteville St
Haymaker

Carolina Cacophony

"Carolina Cacophony" is an interactive homage to Raleigh's summer symphony, featuring a giant Dog-Day Cicada during its transformative molting. This piece celebrates the iconic insect native to North Carolina, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in a light-infused experience that embodies the region's vibrant wildlife and nostalgic soundtrack of summer evenings.

Follow Katie Stewart on Instagram @k80stew

5

Limelight:
Talking Heads

420 Fayetteville St
Raleigh City Plaza

Talking Heads

As human beings, we are capable of numerous facial expressions through the use of several dozens of muscles. It enables us to show all kinds of emotions. When you look sad, I’m inclined to comfort you. When I laugh, I invite you to join me in laughing.

These two spectacular heads also show countless emotions and react to each other. Unlike people, these Talking Heads don’t do it by means of muscles, but through all the possibilities of light. Per head, some 4,000 individually controllable LEDs provide different facial expressions in various colours. As they are connected by Wi-Fi, they react to each other, but also to the interference of visitors. They conduct conversations by means of light.

Created by Limelight: @limelight3dmapping | Distributed by Wireframe: @wireframepublicart.

6

Nate Sheaffer:
All We Need

301 Fayetteville St
PNC Plaza Lobby

All We Need

All We Need represents an overarching desire for humanity to limit mental and emotional real estate to hope and love. There should be NO VACANCY for hatred.

Nate is the father of Glas. His 30+ years as a neon artist has made him dedicated to bolstering the appreciation, knowledge, and manufacturing of American Neon.

“...the goal is to draw awareness to ways we all can be more thoughtful in multi-purpose usefulness of the planet’s natural resources” – Nate Sheaffer

Check out more of Nate Sheaffer's work at @bigsexyneon on Instagram

7

Jackie Sanders:
Products of the Process Microgallery

17 E Martin St
Pop-Up Shops at Martin Street

Products of the Process Microgallery

As Raleigh's smallest art gallery, the Products of the Process Microgallery showcases elements of the creative process that are often not seen in a gallery or museum. Creative conversations around the monthly exhibitions are documented on Instagram.

Follow Jackie Sanders on Instagram at @jsandersstudio

8

Robin Vuchnich:
Threshold

227 Fayetteville St
Poyner YMCA

Threshold

This audio-reactive light art by artist Robin Vuchnich leverages noise from spectators and the surrounding environment to animate colorful waveforms.

*The projection comes on at 6pm once the sun is fully set

Follow Robin Vuchnich on Instagram at @xo_immersive

9

Katherine Ryan:
Firefly Footpath

131 Fayetteville St

Firefly Footpath

North Carolina is home to the rare Blue Ghost Firefly (Phausis reticulata) found in our mountains, and exclusive to only a handful of locations in the country. This installation brings the wonder of these specially colored fireflies to the Raleigh Area in a festive light display.

Follow Katherine Ryan on Instagram at @kryan.design

10

Mara Carvalho Johnson:
Christmas Magic

131 S Wilmington St
Joy Worthy Co.

Christmas Magic

Step into the enchantment of the season with this Christmas-themed string art masterpiece. Delicately crafted with yarn, artificial flowers and LED fairy lights to add a touch of magic.

Follow Mara Carvalho Johnson on Instagram at @maraart2022

11

Brite Creations:
The Naley Bench

226 E Martin St
Moore Square Visitor Center

The Naley Bench

Named after the famous bench upon which iconic couple Nate and Haley from the television show One Tree Hill (written and shot in North Carolina) sat together in both good and challenging times.

"Don't say I never gave you anything."

Check out Brite Creations on Instagram at @britelightcreations

12

Glas:
Esse Quam Videri

23 W Hargett St
Black Friday Market

Esse Quam Videri

Neon sign displaying North Carolina's state motto. Translated from Latin, Esse Quam Videri means “To be
rather than to seem." Provided by Artsplosure.

13

Nate Sheaffer:
Zorah’s Dressing Room Chandeliers

206 Fayetteville St
Rolley

Zorah’s Dressing Room Chandeliers

Check out more of Nate Sheaffer's work at @bigsexyneon on Instagram

14

Jason Blyskal:
As Above, So Below

228 Fayetteville St
VAE

As Above, So Below

Born too early to explore the stars, too late to explore the earth, but just in time to watch them both from the comfort of our homes. Cheers to TV for showing us all the wonders this universe has to offer.

Follow Jason Blyskal on Instagram at @night.owl.creations

15

Nate Sheaffer:
Zorah’s Dressing Room Chandeliers

12 W Martin St
The Self Care Marketplace

Zorah’s Dressing Room Chandeliers

Check out more of Nate Sheaffer's work at @bigsexyneon on Instagram

16

Thomas Sayre:
Shimmer Wall

516 S McDowell St

Shimmer Wall

Raleigh's famous LED mural Shimmer Wall as been upgraded with new, more advanced lights that allow for easily changeable, colorful displays.

Follow Thomas Sayre on Instagram at @thomassayreartist

17

Nate Sheaffer:
Disco Alley

510 Glenwood Ave

Disco Alley

Disco Alley is a permanent installation of hand-blown, glass neon lights that move and change color.

18

Britt Flood:
Meet Me By The Mistletoe

612 Glenwood Ave

Meet Me By The Mistletoe

An abstract, figurative ode encouraging folks to engage in acts of affection, love, and embrace during this holiday season.

Britt is a painter based in NC working to bring moments of tenderness into the public realm and to cast a spell of connection, lovesickness, and awe within the viewer through large scale painting and mark making. Her paintings aim to visualize heightened moments of realization and the ephemeral, and her works of public art aim to give inactivated spaces visual poetry; fostering moments of deep connection and sense of place in our communities.

Take a photo with your loved one in front of the mural and DM or post/tag @b.l.flood on Instagram and she'll send you a surprise piece of original art!