Portland Winter Light Festival

Portland Winter Light Festival

With the Portland Winter Light Festival in its third year, Holst wanted to get in on the action. Teaming up with 2.Ink Studio - veterans of the event - the crew created a very memorable light installation.

The festival, that ran from February 1-3, was founded in 2015 with a vision to "counteract the city's tendency to hibernate during the winter." Now it brings together artists and designers from around the region to inspire and warm the hearts of winter-weary Portlanders.

This year's event was the biggest yet with four hubs throughout the city. The Holst / 2.Ink installation had a prominent location in the main hub, on the front plaza of the OMSI.

The Cloud, as the installation came to be called, was conceived from the festival's theme: "The Progress of Light." Playing off of the progression from clouds found in nature to the metaphorical computing cloud of today's tech world; this installation consisted of glowing spheres suspended within a framework, inviting interaction with its physical and ethereal elements.

Planning began in late September leaving the team of ten with four months for designing, testing, and building what turned out to be a popular stop at the festival. The intent was for the installation to be movable and enjoyed while inside or outside of it. The structure was built from wood but made flexible with the inclusion of many hinged and pivoting points. The actual cloud was made of up translucent beach balls wrapped in sleeves of delicate netting that were then twisted and manipulated into clusters and attached to the top of the structure. Each ball had its own remote operated LED light within, allowing the molecules of the cloud to be lit individually or synced into a wave of pulsating light.

With the highest attendance the Portland Winter Light Festival has seen in its three years, The Cloud had a constant stream of people walking through, touching, and surrounding the installation. It was a very "grammable" backdrop, receiving hundreds of hits on social media - a lasting relic of the joy that it brought to the festival visitors.

At the conclusion of the festival The Cloud was dismantled, and its materials dispersed responsibly - PICA and Boys & Girls Club of Rockwood will reuse the beach balls, Shaking the Tree (community theater) will reuse the fabric in its productions, and Rebuilding Center took the structure.

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