‘OPEN’ Light Art Installation Enlivens East Village Storefronts

Posted on: September 11th, 2020 at 5:06 am by

Photo: The Flint Collective.

While the city slowly reopens, we continue searching for signs of creativity returning to the neighborhood. It turns out we’re not the only ones who wanted to see something uplifting on our streets.

Installation in progress. Photo: The Flint Collective NYC.

“OPEN,” a series of temporary light art installations, will be occupying eight storefronts in the East Village starting tomorrow. Visitors are invited to discover the neighborhood in a whole new way, with a mapped-out night walk. Others might serendipitously stumble upon some of the sites, where they can scan a QR code on a storefront to find out more.

The project was conceived by The Flint Collective NYC, a group of artists, designers, and urban planners, as a response to the shuttered storefronts that defined the pandemic shutdown.

Illuminated Storefront. Photo: The Flint Collective NYC.

Leela Shanker, a founding member of The Flint Collective NYC, explained, “This is a new way to look at the city. Take a night walk around the neighborhood in your own time and in a socially distanced way.”

Installation in progress. Photo: The Flint Collective NYC.

About half of the businesses whose storefronts are featured have closed during the pandemic. The Flint Collective wanted to draw attention to both the struggling local economy and the retail vacancies. The idea is to also get people thinking about what might live in the darkened spaces next. As Shanker said, “Everyone involved wanted to create a bit of hope.”

The installation is spread across eight sites in the East Village and is active from Saturday September 12 – Sunday September 20, from 7.30pm – 11pm. Visit The Flint Collective’s website for more details.

Map of locations. Photo: The Flint Collective NYC.

“OPEN” is sponsored by the Designers Lighting Forum of New York (DLFNY). The Flint Collective NYC also partnered with lighting manufacturers and local business owners to help realize this illuminating installation.

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