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DATMA offers free public art to brighten your day, and night

Just last summer, DATMA wowed us all bringing the amazing Summer Winds to New Bedford. The project featured “Silver Current” by Patrick Shearn of Poetic Kinetics, stopping passers by in their tracks with it’s whimsy and soothing ocean like sounds as it moved with the wind over Custom House Square. Now, a year later, DATMA returns with another free public art installation – LIGHT 2020 – bringing world renowned art, design and technology to the “city that lit the world.”

This past weekend was the official launch of the project, and Instagram followers were privi to a behind the scenes peak at all the hard work that went into the installation. From late night set up, to extra hands on deck, there was no lack of community collaboration in their execution.

Photo-Kinetic Grid by Soo Sunny Park

Photo-kinetic Grid by Soo Sunny Park – Photo by Richard Gormley

On display at the UMass Dartmouth CVPA Star Store Swain Gallery, located at 715 Purchase St., New Bedford, you’ll find the Photo-kinetic Grid by Soo Sunny Park. She’s created a reflective light room using media of light and space.

As noted in a recent press release from DATMA “…it’s central form is built out of welded chain link fencing, filled with see-through silver plastic tiles tied in place by stainless steel wire. Several projectors throw images of the grid back onto itself. The projectors are the primary light source for the work, and these projected images are, in turn, bounced onto the walls, ceiling, and floor of the space.” In short – it’s breathtaking.

And keeping the community’s safety in mind, the piece was installed specifically to be seen on foot, bike, or even driving by in your car. That means no crowds or having to enter the building, now through September 14th!

Vessels by MASARY Studios

In addition to the Photo-kinetic Grid, you will also find Vessels by MASARY Studios, on display through August 1st, daily after sunset. This two-part piece includes both video and live performances highlighting the vital role the New Bedford fishing industry plays in local and global economies. Launching this project was made possible through a partnership between DATMA and the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center. The 3 large-scale sound and video pieces are up and running on 3 different buildings along Union St. in Downtown New Bedford, but the live performance will have to wait until 2021.

VESSELS created by MASARY Studios – Photo by Aram Boghosian

Student Art

LIGHT 2020 will also include the use of STEAM to create public art by students from Greater New Bedford Vocational Technical High School. Students will work under the guidance of Chris Bardt of Studio 3six0 architecture firm to design, fabricate, and install a permanent sculpture at the intersection of Union and Purchase Streets in downtown New Bedford. Mentors from Horacio’s Inc. and the City of New Bedford’s Department of Public Infrastructure will also be on board.


In addition to the 3 above mentioned projects, you’ll also find partner exhibitions at UMass Dartmouth’s CVPA, New Bedford Art Museum/Artworks!, and even a fence mural at the corner of Acushnet Ave. and William Street, in Downtown New Bedford. CLICK HERE for full details on LIGHT 2020, and get out there to see some amazing art this summer.

Caitlin Joseph