Hundreds of people stopped abruptly, craned their necks from drivers’ seats and made their way to the median to look at City Hall. They were experiencing “Styling A Second Empire: A Light and Sound Experience,” an art installation produced by The Lighting Practice and Metropolitan Acoustics in collaboration with students from the University of the Arts.
The experience, which began last Friday and runs through May 19, was a combination of moving lights, animated graphics and color-changing effects combined with music. The lights were projected onto City Hall and 14 buildings along the Avenue of the Arts.
“We came up with a concept and listened to the music presented to us by the composers and we started to come up with looks that went along with it,” University of the Arts student designer Nathan Schlegel said.
Stephen Hoppe of The Lighting Practice worked on the programming for City Hall and the Avenue of the Arts buildings. The folks at The Lighting Practice wanted to do a collaborative project with artistic members of the community in Philadelphia to make a difference in Center City.
When asked if he was pleased with the crowd’s reaction Hoppe looked happily around at the packed median and said with a chuckle, “Hundreds of people watching your work just on the spur of the moment is kind of a cool thing.”
The free exhibit will play nightly from dusk to 1 a.m. until May 19.