Jackson Hole Public Art presents the return of its annual GlowNights celebration with an exhibit of light-based installations in Teton Village and the Town of Jackson.
With isolation as a leading mental health indicator, JH Public Art and GlowNights partners hope this year’s installations inspire wonder as well as safe and accessible gatherings.
Jackson Hole Public Art Director, Carrie Geraci joined us recently in the KHOL studios to shed some light on what GlowNights is all about.
The following interview transcript has been edited for clarity and brevity. Listen above for the full conversation.
KHOL: So Jackson Hole Public Art produces community-minded, artist-driven projects for public spaces. Can you explain to the listeners the importance of public art?
Carrie Geraci: Well, we think public art is very important because it is free. It’s accessible to everybody. They can engage with it on their own terms. It also really activates our community gathering spaces. It’s something that’s there to discover. It’s something that can add, you know, a spark of joy or happiness or inspiration to your daily life. And it also has the ability to transform mundane spaces. So empty alley walls or, you know, the side of the parking garage. Everywhere is an opportunity.
KHOL: So with installations at Teton Village Commons, Teton County Library, JH Land Trust green space on the block here in downtown and right here at the Center for the Arts, which are we are inside of right now. Can you describe in detail a little bit each of these artworks?
Geraci: Let’s start with here at the Center. This is by Doug Vogel and Evan Hopping. They have created a light installation in the aspen trees in the amphitheater here that is reflecting kind of the disturbances caused by the solar wind, which is very cool. All of the installations are about the environment and sort of the wonders of our environment. Liz Forelle, whose work is on the green space on the block, has created a topographical piece of one of her favorite places in Grand Teton National Park. CLB Architects at the library has created a space called Plume that is about the weather, and the thing I like about Plume is it reminds me of the James Turrell installation. He creates these sky spaces where you look up and see the changing colors of the sky in relation to your immediate surroundings. And then we have the largest installation is out in Teton Village. That is a digital illuminated waterfall with a sound piece as well and really spectacular and fun to see at night.
KHOL: Finally, Carrie, can you touch on the importance of Glow Nights as it relates to mental health and combating that familiar feeling of isolation in the winter months?
Geraci: Yeah, I think we’re all very aware of the fact that we’ve been living through a pandemic. A lot of us have gone through major periods of time without the social interaction we’re used to having and public art has been really fortunate in that we haven’t had to cancel any of the projects we’ve been working on because they’re all outside. They’re all things that people can do safely and with friends and family, and we really hope Glow [inspires] people to get out and be together even during this really, really dark time.