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What’s New At LUNA Fête

LUNA Fête, which runs from Dec. 7-10, is an enthralling visual arts experience with locations in and around Lafayette Square.

Luna Fete lights up Gallier Hall. (Courtesy photo)

LUNA Fête is a stunning project put together by the Arts Council New Orleans to literally bring light to the city. After its incredible first run and a stint in Central City last year, LUNA Fête heads back to the Central Business District to light up Gallier Hall and the surrounding area with a series of bold and innovative light installations designed by artists from around the globe. These installations have a NOLA twist: the latest light, sound, and video-mapping practices will have distinctive New Orleans architecture as their backdrop.

A scene from the fantastic and fantastical LUNA Fete. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

After enthralling more than 15,000 viewers last year, the 2016 version of LUNA Fête runs from Dec. 7-10 in Lafayette Square from 6 – 9 p.m. The projection onto Gallier Hall will happen on the hour every hour at 6, 7, 8, and 9 p.m. Related displays will extend along Lafayette Street, merging with Harrah’s Miracle on Fulton event.  

LUNA Fête 2016 also features Global Rainbow, which lights up the sky with lasers representing colors of the rainbow. A creation of Berlin-based artist Yvette Mattern, the display will be visible for up to 35 miles from Lafayette Square, sending a message of hope and peace through vibrant lights. 

Here are a few other enticing elements to expect:

  • The Billie series transforms light into a dynamic paintbrush. The spheres are sensitive to sources of light like smartphones, glow sticks, flashlights, and any other light-emitting device. Audience members can created illuminated personal portraits on the surface of a Billie sphere. Selfie game strong!
  • Titan the Bison is an interactive, 20-foot large bison where audience portraits are mixed in real time with prerecorded graphics to provide instantaneous, interactive visual feedback to the viewers on the bison’s illuminated skin.
  • Crystal Radio is an audio-visual installation that transmits experimental soundscapes directly into audience members’ heads through the consumption of crystalline lollipops.
  • Cave explores the recent rise of machine learning and virtual reality, creating an enclosed space which imagines the results of human cave drawings should man have been replaced by machine.
  • The LUNA Bazaar Arts Market will exhibit works and wares from two dozen local artists.
  • Food and drink vendors will appear throughout the festival campus — bring your appetite! 

While the Arts Council New Orleans has a strong commitment to bringing in artists from outside New Orleans and around the world to bolster LUNA Fête, the event is grounded in the notion of celebrating this community and its artistic endeavors. After attending last year, I can attest to not only the spectacular aspect of this event, but also how it fostered a really inclusive sense of New Orleans. The below video shows how beautifully the artists captured the architectural details of Gallier Hall in 2014 and wove it into a compelling (and visually stunning) story:

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