Grant funding from MCACA and Creative Washtenaw that lit up Downtown Saline this year.
We all needed a little glitz this year to cheer us up. The burden of the pandemic on our downtown brick and mortar businesses weighed heavily, and at Saline Main Street it all but killed us to see our wonderful community struggle so much. When things are rough, but you have to keep going? It can be hard as hell.
So we wanted to lighten things up a little. Enter local artist and our partner in light crimes, Gary Parker Nola.
Last winter, we were awarded an Arts & Culture Minigrant from the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs (MCACA) and Creative Washtenaw to create some placemaking public art. Our goal was to develop an on-going bright light art project that could transform the ambience of Downtown Saline. We imagined an eye-catching gateway for eastbound traffic, and a magical moment for westbound travelers at the 4 corners.
Greeting eastbound travelers on the side of Rock Paper Scissors Shop.
The result was Luminous Saline by projection artist and coordinator, Gary Parker Nola.
Artist Gary Parker Nola with his light creation — as daylight gives way to dusk, Luminous Saline comes into view for the first time.
Nola has been designing light projections with Saline Main Street since the Winter of 2018 when he designed our first one, a holiday message of “Glad tidings to all!” that glows over the heart of our downtown each year since. An engineer and light installation artist, Nola’s technical skills compensate for things like the angle of reflection for the clearest, most direct image. From the base to the design, Gary translates his art to a projected image that is vibrant, crystal clear and absolutely lovely to see and admire.
Nola installs the gobos on our high powered rooftop projectors over Mac’s Acadian Seafood Shack..
Luminous Saline over Brecon Grille and Pub and Smokehouse 52.
Diners on the Umbrella Square, a portion of S Ann Arbor Street that was closed for outdoor restaurant seating, were treated to colorful visions of illuminated flowers. The stunning installation created ambience while also serving to enhance our economic recovery from impacts by the pandemic on our brick and mortar businesses.
Making memories and finding delight with an upward sweep of the eyes — we hoped to lighten the hearts and spirits of everyone who came through or stopped to spend time in Downtown Saline.
Umbrella Square Recovery Zone.
We look forward to creating more illuminating projects with our local artists and creatives in Downtown Saline.
For more information, listen to Saline Main Street director, Holli Andrews on WEMU Radio’s creative:impact with show co-hosts Deb Polich of Creative Washtenaw and WEMU’s David Fair here!
And, please follow Saline Main Street and the 109 Cultural Exchange on our events calendar tab above and social media links below. #saltcity #salineartists #alwaysboldneverbland #everyoneiswelcome