Light Bright: Neon Displays Illuminate 'First Light' Fest

Siña Lightworks display on Brookline Town Hall. (Photo by Siña Lightworks)
Siña Lightworks display on Brookline Town Hall. (Photo by Siña Lightworks)

Bringing light to the darkness—that’s at the root of many of our winter traditions and festivals. And that’s what the neon art of Alejandro and Moira Siña of Brookline’s Siña Lightworks add to the town’s 16th annual “First Light” festival from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29. The event to welcome winter and kickoff the holiday season offers ice carving, dance, music from a cappella singing to live jazz, puppetry, juggling, acrobats, pottery demonstrations throughout the town.

“It’s not traditional neon,” Alejandro Siña says of his work. “It’s not related to pink flamingos or beer signs. I use a different technology, which is single-electrode neon.”

His “lightworks” often resemble rows of reeds. And in an installation at Brookline’s Town Hall, some are built to move in the wind. Mr. Siña says he came to the Boston area in 1973 to be a fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies, at the invitation at the center’s founder Gyorgy Kepes. And it’s developing the technology, he says, and “the hidden possibilities that are there to be discovered” that still drive him.

“First Light” lasts one evening, but in addition to Siña Lightworks’ display on the roof of Town Hall, their installations are scheduled to light up Chobee Hoy Associates, Bank of Canton, Serenade Chocolatier, Village Green Renewal, Fire Opal, Muddy River Gallery, Cause to Paws, Clear Flour Bakery, Putterham Grill, the Fireplace Restaurant, and Washington Square Tavern throughout the holiday season.

This program aired on November 28, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

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Greg Cook Arts Reporter
Greg Cook was an arts reporter and critic for WBUR's The ARTery.



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