Founded by Jeff Grantz in 2014 and produced by Materials & Methods, ILLUMINUS is a contemporary arts festival that takes place at night and features original installations, video projection and performances by artists who manipulate light, sound, and projection to create immersive experiences and turn the city scape into an installation gallery. ILLUMINUS was conceived as Boston’s contribution to the global “Nuit Blanche” movement established in Paris and taking place in many cities around the world.The festival was developed by the creative community in Boston and is held at a different location throughout Boston each year.
The first ILLUMINUS took place in Boston’s SoWa Arts District Power Station on Harrison Avenue, featuring the work of 30 artists, and attracted nearly 10,000 people over the course of the evening. The overwhelming response and number of attendees showed us that this approach to showcasing contemporary art was an important undertaking, and inspired us to continue the festival the following year.
The festival grew considerably in 2015, featured the work of over 40 artists and drew a staggering crowd of over 30,000 attendees, establishing ILLUMINUS as a premier emerging arts event in the city of Boston. ILLUMINUS 2015 took place on Lansdowne street behind Fenway Park and the back of the “Green Monster,” This second festival was hosted in partnership with HUBweek, as the closing event for this weeklong civic activation. HUBweek was founded collaboratively by The Boston Globe, MIT, Harvard University, and Mass General Hospital in 2015 to showcase innovation in Boston.
As producers, Materials & Methods works with the artists to provide expertise in the technology fields of audio/video equipment, projection and digital installations. Materials & Methods has always seen value in investing in the arts community, by enabling artists to engage with emerging technologies and to push the envelope of how these tools can be used to provoke illuminating experiences. ILLUMINUS provides us with an opportunity to support artists to engage in a medium that could otherwise be either cost or knowledge prohibitive. In turn, artists push emerging technologies in ways that may never have been done before, and create new kinds of experiences for the audience who participate, igniting passion and support for the arts, and effectively engage the next generation of participants.
In 2017 Materials & Methods and the ILLUMINUS team will partner with LumenArtz, a non-profit arts organization focused on creative experiences, and will present the festival again in the Fall of 2017.
For more information about the festival please visit www.illuminusboston.org
Photos courtesy of Aram Boghosian Photography + Tina Tian Photography