Art After Dark

“In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.”

~Aaron Rose

It wasn’t long before I found my way back to the SoWa district to witness Illuminus, Boston’s first annual Nuit Blanche. This public nighttime festival originated in Paris back in the early 2000s and has caught on worldwide since. Over 40 local artists joined together to integrate light,motion, and creative expression with Harrison Avenue.


Amongst the old Railway Power Station, glowing projections flashed before the crowd. The interplay of light and darkness brought awe and mystery to the former industrial site. For a look at the animations, check out this video clip from the Revelbos Instagram page at of the main attractions shown was the New American Public Art’s project titled Your Big Face, which allowed visitors to cast their facial images onto a 25-foot-tall lit sculpture. Next there was Sam Okerstrom-Lang’s Glitche, a mesmerizing light beam display that invited crowd members to roam through a weave of streamers. Also noted, an outdoor booth with a radiant replica of Boston encouraged viewers to fill out cardboard pieces with glow-in-the-dark writing tools.  My personal favorite, Caleb Neelson’s Untitled, featured candy-themed illustrations that awakened the human senses.

While I enjoy my monthly trips to the MFA, experiencing art in a less traditional setting was quite welcoming. Embracing public space as a storytelling piece is the key to propelling Boston’s cultural movement. Now that the spark has been ignited, let’s see how the city builds upon this wave of creative momentum. For more information on Illuminus, go to

How do you feel about public art venues? Would you like to see Nuit Blanche come to your city?


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    • Thanks for your response Jacqueline. Nuit Blanche’s popularity is growing, so you never know where it’ll take place next 🙂

  1. I think this is a great idea for an annual event. The use of lights at night can be spectacular and doesn’t require an art appreciation course to appeal to everyone.

    • Thanks for you response Beth. You sum up the appeal of the event so well.

    • Thanks for your response Ken. The layout of Illuminus felt like an adult playground. The artists did a wonderful job creating pieces that drew the audience in.

  2. This looks amazing and must have been absolutely fabulous to experience ‘live and in person’. I’ve never heard of this but if it ever came to a location near me I would make arrangements to attend.

    • Thanks for your response Lenie. It was really exciting to see Boston illuminated.

    • Thanks for your response Noelle. That’s so interesting that you’ve attended this event in Europe. Where was your favorite destination?

  3. I have seen these illumination dancers before and they are spectacular however did not know of the origin. Kind of makes sense that it is Parisian since it has a very cirque du solei feel to it.

    • Thanks for your response Tim. It’s quite impressive how the French have had such an influence on the art scene.

  4. That is such a cool blog. It really looks amazing. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    • Thanks for your response William. This blog is a true joy, and I’m so thrilled to highlight Boston’s event scene.

  5. I have seen illumination dancers in few videos on Social media but do not know that it came from Paris and I will love to see Nuit Blanche in my city. This post is really amazing

    • Thanks for your response Anna. Nuit Blanche is breathtaking in person. I hope the event comes to your city!

  6. Illiminus is really beautiful and is great at making art accessible to the ordinary person. I hope it comes to London soon.


    • Thanks for your response Vijay. London would be a wonderful destination for Illuminus!

  7. Lights make great art because the night makes them pop. There’s a high-rise hotel here that does the same, changing the lighting to suit the season. Also, the entire downtown scene during the holidays attracts thousands annually. I’d like to see some large scale art as described in this post!

    • Thanks for your response Deidre. I love the holiday lights craze because of how they make the city pop.

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