Hoosac River Lights
Reviving a lost river. That was the theme of the Hoosac River Lights project, the brainchild of Ralph Brill, an artist in North Adams, Mass. The LRC's spring semester Workshop class developed many concepts to fill this overflow channel of the Hoosac River—sometimes dry, sometimes raging with water flowing down from the mountains—with lighted elements representative of nature's spectrum of color. Designed through sculptures of mesh suspended from cables to simulate river rocks, tubes of fiber optics as the flowing river, and taut stripes of white fabric to bridge the banks North Adams, the final creation seemed a suspension of rocks in water—a ballet of lights.
The community offered volunteers and the local vocational high school offered technical services to help construct and install this challenging mosaic of light art. Visiting artists from around the world added their light exhibits along the river channel, making it a living gallery. Hoosac River Lights was the launch of what is hoped to be an annual Light Art Festival in North Adams, endorsed and supported by North Adams Mayor John Barrett III, local businesses, and MASS MoCA.