Wednesday, August 12, 2009

“Bright Idea—Lights on L.A.”

Strings of multi-colored bulbs strewn across Pershing Square like oversized Christmas lights. Fiery reds, aqua blues, and golden yellows warm up the concrete surroundings of downtown Los Angeles. A play on Christmas in July?

More like the literally bright idea of Tarryn Soderberg, director of Tarryn Teresa Gallery. It’s “Lights on L.A.”—an outdoor light installation of over 250 CFL light bulbs created by 230 local artists.

Soderberg dreamt up this public art exhibit as means of focusing on the arts in these difficult economic times. Gallery manager Elizabeth Williams explained in an email interview.

In the years before
the financial crisis, Gallery Row in Downtown Los Angeles was instrumental 
in the rejuvenation of the city core from strictly business to a thriving 
residential and commercial center,” said Williams, “the installation is meant to serve as 
a reminder of the role that a vital and diverse artistic community plays in 
any successful urban environment at all stages of its development.”

Apart from Los Angeles, William told of bigger dreams for this illuminating project.

“Our aim is for 
"Lights on LA" to be a recurring exhibit and also to expand the ‘Lights 
on...’ concept to additional cities,” Williams said.

Perhaps New York City is next on the list? Let’s hope so!

Above all, “Lights on L.A.” celebrates the art and artists of Los Angeles. And despite closing galleries and struggling museum institutions, Williams emphasized the importance of the arts—“the arts do not disappear in lean financial times.”

“Lights on L.A” is lighting up Pershing Square til September 18 (


  1. I actually saw this in person and it's beautiful, adding a lot to the public park it resides in. Each bulb is painted, and totally unique. A very creative way to highlight the art scene of LA.

  2. I would like to congratulate and commend Tarryn Soderberg and her team! I work next to Pershing Square and would like to echo TreinLA32 in saying, what a splendid piece of art that adds a lot of life and character to the park! I do hope they extend the "Lights On..." concept to cities all over the country.