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DATMA’s LIGHT 2020 Brings Art, Design, and Technology to “the City That Lit the World”

The Massachusetts Design Art and Technology Institute kicks off programming in New Bedford with free public art installations by MASARY Studios and Soo Sunny Park, to be observed outdoors while social distancing.

MASARY Studios, “Vessels” (2020), presented by DATMA, photo by Aram Bohgosian

The Massachusetts Design Art and Technology Institute (DATMA) has launched LIGHT 2020, a series of free public art exhibitions, programs, and initiatives in the city of New Bedford, part of the South Coast region of Massachusetts. As New Bedford’s 19th-century whaling industry earned the title of “the city that lit the world,” DATMA’s second year of programming is united by the theme of light, featuring two artists who use light as their medium.

“VESSELS” by MASARY Studios is a large-scale sound and video artwork celebrating the vital role that the city’s fishing industry plays in local and global economies. The facades of three prominent downtown New Bedford buildings will be lit by expansive digital animation murals with original sound scores that spotlight the maritime industry, honoring the innovations that have come out of the area and the workers who have made them possible. These installations place the ships inland as a part of the conversation between vessel, navigation, character, and community.

Visitors can view “VESSELS” now through August 1 on three different buildings along Union Street in downtown New Bedford, illuminated daily from sunset until midnight.

“Photo-kinetic Grid” by sculptor Soo Sunny Park is a reflective light installation located at the intersection of Union Street and Purchase Street, visible from the sidewalks of downtown. It reconfigures boundary materials including fencing, glass and plastic windows, sheetrock walls, video cameras, projectors, and light to expand and explore a variety of liminal spaces. In particular, Park’s work focuses on the spaces between inside and outside, sculpture and drawing, image and object, vision and what we see.

“Photo-kinetic Grid” is on view at UMass Dartmouth CVPA Star Store Swain Gallery (715 Purchase Street, New Bedford, MA) through September 14. It can be seen daily from the street through the gallery’s floor-to-ceiling glass windows.

For more information about LIGHT 2020, visit datma.org.