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Night lights

The downtown Tampa skyline will be bathed in creativity as artists set it aglow.

Published January 5, 2006

[Times photo: Chris Zuppa]
The Pavilion at Rivergate Tower will be one of the buildings featured in “Lights on Tampa,” a public art project that will debut Saturday.

TAMPA - The city is shedding new light on the possibilities of public art with "Lights on Tampa," the most ambitious public art project yet seen in the area. It begins at 5:30 p.m. Saturday when Mayor Pam Iorio will flip a switch and buildings throughout downtown will be illuminated with monumental sculptures by artists using light as a medium.

It's an art form that has gained great currency over the last 30 years, and one of its leading contemporary masters, the Paris-based Spanish artist Jorge Orta, is one of the six artists selected to paint the town in luminosity. His Luminographic Concert, which includes a musical component, will bathe the University of Tampa's historic Plant Hall in clear saturations of color. Below is a listing of all venues, but Orta's is just a one-night stand. Other installations will remain for weeks, months or permanently.

The kickoff party is at the Tampa Municipal Office Building and it and all sites will be accessible from 5:30 p.m. to midnight. The event is free and refreshments will be available for purchase. Several locations are within walking distance but HARTline trolleys will stop at most sites. The charge is 50 cents per person. For more information, go to

- LENNIE BENNETT and JANET ZINK, Times staff writers


Tampa Municipal Office Building

Best Viewing Spot: Lykes Gaslight Park, Franklin Street at Kennedy Boulevard

Artist: Stephen Knapp

About the art: Luminous Affirmations reflects light through glass mounted on the side of City Hall. This is a permanent installation.

National Wall Art Gallery

Best Viewing Spot: southwest corner of Ashley Drive at Kennedy Boulevard

Artist: Wendy Babcox

About the art: Taking Breath, on display for three weeks, projects video images of regional tourism alongside Florida's natural assets.

The Pavilion at Rivergate Tower

Best Viewing Spot: plaza in front of the Tampa Museum of Art

Artist: Erwin Redl

About the art: Thousands of computerized LED lights shift slowly between red and blue in Fade III. The display will be up for six months.

The News Center

Best Viewing Spot: MacDill Park on Ashley Street at Whiting Street

Artists: Bay Stage Lighting

About the art: LuminoCity, on display for five weeks, is choreographed to music.

University of Tampa

Best Viewing Spot: Plant Park at the University of Tampa

Artist: Jorge Orta

About the art: This one-night-only installation, titled Luminographic Concert, features six giant light projectors saturating UT's Plant Hall and musical accompaniment. The first 30-minute show begins at 7 p.m. with additional performances every 15 minutes until midnight.

Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center

Best Viewing Spot: Ashley Drive at Tyler Street

Artist: Tobey Archer

About the art: Marquee is a pulsing, multicolored fiber optic light along the roof line of the performing arts center. This is a permanent installation.

[Last modified January 4, 2006, 11:17:07]

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