Client: City of Tampa
Location: Tampa, FL - Florida, United States
Completion date: 2015
Artwork budget: $530,000
City of Tampa
Public Art Agent
City of Tampa
Nick Cave Art
Lights On Tampa (LOT) is a biennial program that allows residents and visitors to reimagine Tampa’s downtown through innovative and interactive public art experiences. The program commissions artists to bring free access to artistic excellence that are fun, free, family-friendly and includes a multi-level education program. The program debuted in 2006 and is a public/private partnership between the City of Tampa’s Art Programs Division and the Public Art Alliance, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization. The program is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Since the program’s debut in 2006, the goal has been to offer free access to artistic excellence. Each event brings several temporary installations that reinvent a downtown space. Additionally, at least one project from each LOT program year has remained as permanent, making a significant impact on the pedestrian experience. Over the course of the past decade, this has influenced private development with the incorporation of light-based art into their infrastructure. These projects have added up to almost $3 million invested in Public Art. For Lights On Tampa 2015, Wannemacher Jensen Architects developed a prototype for a future permanent installation titled “River Glow”. The installation is a series of green halogen and LED bulbs that complements the natural river wildlife, but also draws patrons to the newly completed Riverwalk. Additionally, Chicago-based artist team, Luftwerk, created an elegant light art installation that evokes the tidal flow of the adjacent Hillsborough River through a grid of lights flowing in a compressed rhythm. Artworks also included an interactive test-your-strength “Sky Striker”, a performance art work by Nick Cave (“HEARD*TPA”), Shadow Plays, and as well as the literary arts, by poet Silvia Curbelo.
Each Lights On Tampa Program begins with an open Call to Artists that is produced by the City of Tampa Art Programs Division. Artist selection is made through a juried process with artists working with stakeholders and/or partners in actualizing the projects.
Lights On Tampa has always been kicked off in an event-based format, but up until 2015, was one-night only. In 2015, the program not only expanded to two nights, but also was the first year to incorporate other art forms including original music, literary arts and performance.