Looking for a way to explore some local neighborhoods while also getting an arts fix? Through early-to-mid-January, both LUSIO Lights Pioneer Square and the Georgetown Super 8 Film Festival Walking Tour are providing ways to view art while walking around.
LUSIO Lights Pioneer Square
Through Jan. 15, nine different art installations, each created by a different Pacific Northwest-based artist, will be displayed in multiple locations around Pioneer Square. People can take a self-guided tour to see the pieces, which include a mobile sculpture of glass birds with a digital projection, and a floating UFO sculpture that beams a light down on passersby.
Visitors can find a map of the locations at lusiolight.com/lusio-lights-pioneer-square. They are all within walking distance of each other and feature a variety of lights including neon and LED. Locations include Merchant’s Cafe and Saloon, ArtXchange Gallery and Kinesia Pilates.
Artist Mollie Bryan started LUSIO in 2015 after witnessing a lack of opportunity for light artists in the Pacific Northwest to showcase their work. Her goal was to create accessible and exploratory experiences to exhibit the work of light artists. She said she wanted to get LUSIO to Pioneer Square, which she calls “historic and gorgeous,” for a long time and was able to make it happen with help from the Alliance for Pioneer Square.
A callout for artists was put up for two weeks and Bryan said she got about 50 applications. She went to Pioneer Square to scope out places that would work for the exhibits. She said some were suggested to her by the alliance and others were offered up by the business owners after they heard about the event.
There is a lot that goes into creating a good space for light art, she said. For example, the space can’t have a streetlight in front of it, or there has to be a safe way for electrical elements to be included. Bryan recommends viewing the pieces when it’s darker, but they can still be seen during the day.
Bryan has hosted four festivals at Volunteer Park that included more than 40 exhibits, sound stages, projections on the Asian Art Museum and a dance party in the conservatory. This year’s event was, of course, canceled, but they are working on reformatting the event in 2021 to make it happen safely. However, she said she is honored and proud to bring some light to Pioneer Square during this crazy year.
“This project has been a wonderful experience,” Bryan said.
Georgetown Super 8 Film Festival Walking Tour
Fourteen different short films are playing at seven Georgetown businesses through Jan. 9. The films are award winners from the 2020 Georgetown Super 8 Film Festival, a community-centered film festival that started in 2006.
Participants can find the films playing on monitors in business windows or inside the business. Venues include All City Coffee, Georgetown Records and the 9lb Hammer. Two films play on each monitor on a loop and there are QR codes near the monitors to scan so viewers can have the film’s audio play from their phones. A map of the locations, which films will be showing where, and show times can be found at georgetownsuper8.com/gs8-2020-2021-walking-tour.
Laura Wright, education and archives coordinator for the festival, said the films feature a variety of genres including comedy and documentary. Because filmmakers are not allowed to edit the films, they have to film sequentially and can only cut out content from the beginning or end of the film, she said.
Wright said each film is no more than three-and-a-half minutes long. It takes about an hour to see all the films, or viewers can watch them individually as they come across the monitors.
Aside from showcasing the award-winning films from the festival, part of the goal of the walking tour is to give back to local Georgetown businesses, Wright said. Festival organizers were able to compensate the participating businesses through the Duwamish River Opportunity Fund grant they received. It was originally used to put down a deposit on a venue for the 2020 film festival, which was canceled due to the pandemic. The festival was instead hosted online by the Northwest Film Forum in May.
Wright started the event after getting the idea to make a community film festival centered around Super 8 film. She had a couple of Super 8 cameras at the time and was interested in Super 8 film for a while, she said.
Wright said there won’t be a film festival in 2021, but they have a goal to make an archive of the 338 films they have screened over the years accessible online.