Thousands of glowing orbs will lift into the air on Friday, September 21 from three downtown Grand Rapids locations as part of an epic ArtPrize entry: Lights in the Night: Where Hope Takes Flight. The lantern launch will be symbolic of the hopes and dreams of hundreds of Grand Rapidians and visitor volunteers alike, when eco-friendly Chinese sky lanterns will ascend into the sky at dusk as thousands look on in what will be the most awe-inspiring and breath-taking ArtPrize experience in history.
The lantern launch will occur at dusk, between 7-8 p.m., at the following venues in a coordinated effort to launch the balance of lanterns within a ten minute period:
GR Presidential Ford Museum Park - Ab-Nab-Awen Park
Managed by Susan G. Komen West Michigan
Gillette Walkway Bridge
Managed by Make-A-Wish Grand Rapids
Bridge Street Bridge
Managed by the Grand Rapids African American Health Institute
“After three years of attending ArtPrize, voting, and being amazed at the creativity of all the artists that dared to bring their work to a public competition, I decided it was time I got involved,” said Mark Carpenter, organizer and artist. “I realized that when the community would come together to launch the lanterns, that it would mimic life in the most profound way, with all of us uniting to lift of the hopes and dreams of our community…that to me is art.”
Each lantern launched is a visual symbol of a dream of the person/people that launched it. Like all dreams and hopes, some of them will represent personal and private needs, some public dreams with each hope gracefully rising and traversing the sky silently until reaching its final destination.
The lanterns are 100 percent biodegradable and have a burn time of approximately two minutes and then float gently to the ground. The community is encouraged to return lanterns to Gilmore Collection restaurants where they will be honored with a special gift and entry into a grand prize drawing, thus completing the journey of the dream.
This public display of art will be a night of inspiration and grace–a spectacle of lights–that honors the residents of Grand Rapids, ArtPrize guests, and the larger community in which we live and work and celebrate life. Sponsorship opportunities are still available for the event at a cost of $10 per lantern and volunteers for lantern launching are needed.
Project organizers encourage volunteers to pre-register at lightsinthenight.org in order to receive updates the week of the event and to aid coordinators in what aims to be the largest launch of lanterns in the world. This project was created to engage people of all ages and abilities, as well as large and small groups. Additional inquiries may be directed to Adrienne Wallace for details, concerns, or increased sponsorship opportunities.
Source: 834 Design & Marketing