Lights will be beaming on Patchogue’s Main Street, and throughout the Village of Patchogue, for a new art exhibition coming soon.
Called “MoCA L.I.ghts,” its plan is to transform the area into an inviting open-air museum and arts destination for the public to enjoy safely on foot, by car and online — for free — starting early October until December 2020.
Spearheaded by the Patchogue Arts Council (PAC), the organization’s executive diretor, Beth Giacummo, says this is an all-new event for the area.
“This is the first time we’ve done this,” she told GreaterPatchogue. “We’ve had big events (Arts on Terry), but this is the largest to date because of how expansive the blueprint is downtown… To my knowledge, it’s the first time this type of work is being showcased on Long Island.”
Giacummo said that the facades of contemporary and historic architectures in town — the Patchogue Theatre Marquee and several pop-up inflatable gallery screens — will be illuminated with innovative projected artworks, animation and site-specific media works created by local, national and international artists.
Surrounding businesses in the downtown area will become a vibrant backdrop to this unique and immersive art experience, said Giacummo.
The council began planning for this well over a year ago, and now, as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, this is a great time to showcase the lighted art.
“It’s perfect for after COVID because it’s a large exhibition,” she said. “You can view it walking down the street, driving through town and from a distance.”
She added that now more than ever does the community need something like this. During the pandemic, she said, people gravitated towards the arts to find comfort and entertainment.
Sponsored by the Village of Patchogue, Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce, Patchogue BID, Pat-Med Library, Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, Eastern Suffolk BOCES Art in Education, and Cornell Cooperative Suffolk County & Marine Department, PAC was also awarded a highly competitive Destination Downtown grant from Suffolk County.
But unfortunately, because of the virus, Giacummo said they are asking for donations that would help the project stay up longer, instead of the anticipated December cutoff date.
“We are really pushing for fundraising,” she said. “Because of COVID, we weren’t able to fundraise as we normally would.”
She said that decorating the historical building facades could cost up to $1,000 per day to rent equipment, and some exhibits can use up to four projectors.
With a goal of $50,000, the donations would help keep the project up past the closing date, but also pay the artists who contribute their work. PAC does not charge fees for submission, and always helps those who create.
“When supporting us, you’re supporting local artists,” she said. “We want to bring work people haven’t seen… this takes MoCA to the community and educates them on contemporary art.”
Above image of Carnegie Library and the proposed projection mapping piece by artist Kelley Bell / Courtesy of PAC