Detroit light/art show features Toledo businesses, artistsWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
Toledoans who travel to Detroit for DLECTRICITY, an art festival utilizing lights, may see familiar Glass City businesses reflected in one vacant building Oct. 5 and 6.
Former Toledo resident Mark Moffett, supported by Toledo’s TiMe To Productions and Busted Backstage Productions, is one of the 35 artists exhibiting in the new show. His piece “WORK” projects footage of Toledo businesses in the Woodward & Canfield Building, 4265 Woodward Ave., Detroit.
Moffett got the idea for his project while driving through Detroit and observing the vacant buildings.
“I had this idea, to make them look like they’re alive,” he said. Moffett developed his idea and began looking for a venue — luckily, he happened to stumble upon DLECTRICITY, set to take place in Midtown. The show’s submission deadline was a week away and Moffett’s submission was selected among 200 others.
So Detroit natives wouldn’t recognize the businesses projected, Moffett and his partners are using images of Toledo businesses like the Bleak House and J & G Pizza Palace.
“Our prime audience is going to be a Detroit audience so we wanted to have vibrant window fronts,” Moffett said. “We don’t want them to be able to have a direct reference … we wanted it to be very much a new experience.”
DELECTRICITY is put on by Midtown Detroit, Inc. and Art Detroit Now. The show is inspired by light shows in other cities and is happening at the same time as the “Nuit Blanche” festivals in New York and Paris.
“In many ways the eyes of the contemporary art world are on Detroit at this moment in our history,” said Marc Schwartz, chairman of Art Detroit Now, in a news release. “With Paris and New York light festivals happening simultaneously, that interest and attention will only be amplified.”
The festival also serves to highlight Detroit’s architecture.
“Midtown Detroit’s amazing cultural and architectural assets have always been core to the continued growth and development of the neighborhood,” said Sue Mosey, president of Midtown Detroit, Inc., in a news release. “Events like these not only remind people of those historic gems but capture everyone’s imagination for what’s possible in the future.”
Community events like a light bike workshop and a subsequent parade are also planned for the weekend. During the workshop, eventgoers can learn how to light up their rides and then show off their work during a 3.75-mile parade in Midtown. The workshop is set for 5 p.m. Oct. 6 at the corner of 2nd and Warren avenues. Detroit’s Restaurant Week and a gallery crawl are also set for the same weekend. The 1924 Russian film, “The Overcoat,” will screen for free at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5 at the Detroit Film Theatre in the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Moffett, who was very active in the Old West End Festival, currently resides in Boulder, Colo., but keeps his Toledo roots strong.
“A lot of the things I do are sort of in remembrance of my Great Lakes history,” he said, adding that much of his work is inspired by the auto industry.
Moffett graduated from the University of Toledo and later worked as the technician in the sculpture department. Although he no longer resides in Toledo, he strongly believes in the city, referring to Detroit and Toledo as “do-it-yourself cities.”
“Toledo and Detroit are at the forefront because we are cities where people make things and we’ve always been cities where people make things,” Moffett said.
He added, “I think both cities have gotten to the point where they are starting to recognize their identities.”
DLECTRICITY runs from 7 p.m. to midnight Oct. 5 and 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Oct. 6 in Midtown Detroit. For more information, visit http://www.dlectricity.com.