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The Winston-Salem Light project was inspired by the early 1980s work of Mario Mariotti and a desire by Norman Coates (UNCSA Director of Lighting) to expand the experiences of his students by using public art. Mariotti's work transformed the unfinished Renaissance facade of the Church of Santo Spirito in Florence Italy. The projected images often playful or humorous sometimes abstract changed the building and it's relationship to the piazza and the citizens. It redefined the urban space over the course of a few nights during a festival of poetry, music and dance. In the spring of 2007, Suzanne and Gilbert Mathews of Lucifer Lighting attended the UNCSA production of West Side Story. Introduced to the school by Philip Hanes and inspired by the work on this production the Mathews looked for a way to get involved with UNCSA and the lighting program. After a year of exploring the possibilities the WSLP was created and generously funded in the inaugural year by the Mathews. Who continue to be generous patrons of the project. The project works to expand the students' knowledge about light. They apply concepts and techniques learned in the pursuit of theatrical design to architecture and public art putting aside the script or score and becoming originating artists. The WSLP is committed to the use of technologies that are at the cutting edge of lighting and projection. In 2008 the project was about pure light and architecture with the use of highly efficient LED fixtures. In 2009 the project employed large format projectors that provide high impact and large scale images with a small energy footprint. In 2009 we combined these ideas with multiple venues using both projection and light. The project is an excellent tool for teaching and expanding the horizons of the student but its greatest impact is the creation of public art. The immediacy experienced by the spectator can rarely be created with-in the context of a traditional museum. It transforms our urban environment in a way that re-energizes our relationship to our cities and helps us to see the often ignored or under appreciated. Public art is non discriminatory; it is open to every race and religion, and every age. It requires no specials education to appreciate and can speak to the art historian and move those with no formal education in the arts. It is immediate, current, relevant and opens our minds to the wonder of what the world can hold and what how we can shape it, vision is reflected light. In its seven year history the project has reached tens of thousands people and has been supported entirely with grants, corporate gifts and private donations. WHO WE ARE Norman Coates Founder / Executive Artistic Director Norman Coates, with the help of Phil Hanes and Suzanne and Gilbert Mathews founded the Winston-Salem Light Project in 2008. Norman is the Director of Lighting at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where he has taught since 1990. Norman has designed the lighting for over 300 theatrical productions and his work has been seen on 5 continents. On Broadway: The News and Prince of Central Park. Off-Broadway credits include the Roundabout Theatre, Circle in the Square, The Lion Theatre, Westbeth Theater, Provincetown Playhouse, Equity Library Theatre. National and International tours include: The Who’s Tommy, Guys and Dolls, Camelot and Encounter 500. Norman’s Regional theater credits include work for Triad Stage, The Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, American Stage Festival, NC Shakespeare Festival, PlayMakers Repertory, Burt Reynolds’ Jupiter Theatre, The Hirschfield Theatre, and the North Carolina Theatre, His opera credits include work for, Piedmont Opera Theater, The Princeton Festival, Greensboro Opera, Opera Carolina, North Carolina Opera, Piedmont Opera, Virginia Opera, Fort Worth Opera and Opera Pacific. Norman is a member of United Scenic Artists and was a charter member of Winston-Salem chapter of IESNA. WHAT WE DO
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