Founded by Jeff Grantz in 2014, ILLUMINUS was produced by Materials and Methods and now produced by Studio HHH. The contemporary arts festival features original installations, video projection, and performances. Artists explore light and sound to create immersive experiences, turning the city into an interactive art gallery. ILLUMINUS is Boston’s contribution to the global Nuit Blanche (White Night) movement established in Paris and now in many cities worldwide. The idea is to turn our gallery experience inside out by bringing art to the vibrant city streets through a shared collective experience.
Studio HHH sees the value in investing in the art’s community. ILLUMINUS is an opportunity for us to support artists who engage in digital technology and new media in innovative ways. We provide expertise to artists who are new to the process of working with emerging technologies such as projection mapping and audio/visual equipment integration. We delight in supporting artists to push the envelope of how art can provoke ‘illuminating’ experiences. Our team facilitates the festival production with Vanessa Till as the Creative Director, Stephen Gleason as Graphic Designer, Emily Castro as Artist Liaison, and Pamela Hersch as projection specialist. Our studio directs the curatorial process as well as hosts the artist opening reception.
We are now entering our sixth year of planning for this one of a kind event that transforms the streets of Boston into a showcase for emerging artists experimenting in the field of multimedia, light and technology based art.
In 2018, Illuminus was held in Downtown Boston. This year we presented a new selection of over 20 artists to the festival, including the main facade which was populated by work from six female artists. Antipode Tunnel, a cross-continent collaboration between two artists, held a line of eager viewers both nights. The haunting shadow of a live dancer mimics a hybrid creature in a projected light tunnel embodying the hopes and fears of human beings. Heart Hug, a work by two artists from Russia, encourages spectators to hug beneath a sculpture of a heart which lights up when they participate. The more people hug, the brighter the heart shines. Boston 2070 was a temporal sculpture by local artist Teresita Cochran representing the cityscape of downtown Boston as it faces the inevitable future of dramatic sea level rise. Over 100,000 people attended the dynamic event.
Creative Director: Vanessa Till Hooper
Director of Operations: Jane Thorne Long
Technical Director: Bianca Mauro
Artist Liaison: Emily Castro
Graphic Designer: Stephen Gleason
Projectionist: Pamela Hersch
Installer: Benjii Simmersbach
Sponsored by: Lyn Burke and LuminArtz
The festival continued in 2017 and brought on new creative projects like Gridlock, Lanterns Story, Slowdance, Digital Graffiti and Solar Forest, the featured artwork from Studio HHH that was exhibited in Post Office Square for four weeks following the festival. The event brought over 20 artist's unique works and attracted over 80,000 guests during two nights in early November.
The festival grew considerably in 2015 featuring the work of over 40 artists and drawing a crowd of over 30,000 attendees. ILLUMINUS became established as a premier emerging arts event in 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, founded collaboratively by The Boston Globe, MIT, Harvard University, and Massachusetts General Hospital to showcase innovation in Boston while serving as the closing event for the weeklong civic activation.
Technical Director: Dan Sternoph Beyer
Director of Programming: Ethan Vogt
Operations Manager: Jane Thorne Long
Artist Liaison: Vanessa Till Hooper
Installer: Shawn Faherty, Chris Brown, Benjii and Christopher Simmersbach
Projectionist: Sam Okerstrom-Lang
Projectors: Christie Digital
The first ILLUMINUS festival in 2014 took place in Boston’s SoWa Arts District at a former power station on Harrison Avenue. It featured the work of 30 artists and attracted nearly 10,000 people. The overwhelming response and number of attendees revealed this approach to showcasing contemporary art as an important undertaking and inspired us to continue the festival each year.