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MARCH 2017

Fluorescent Light in Vacant Storefront

A light art installation by Chris Jeffrey, in collaboration with Overnight Projects.

A Vacant Storefront Art Installation Illuminates Winooski - by Rachel Elizabeth Jones, Seven Days, 02/22/2017 - HTML | PDF

This installation lit up a large vacant storefront in Winooski, Vermont in February and March, 2017.  The Winooski Block, an imposing brick building dating from the 1850’s, dominates the center of this former mill town, and is in the process of undergoing a major renovation.  As a way to draw attention to the beautiful spaces that are being restored I was invited to create a temporary light installation in one of the large ground floor storefronts.  The challenge was to define and accentuate the long, narrow, high-ceilinged space of this cavernous construction zone using colored fluorescent lights, and in the process illuminate and draw attention to the many wonderful architectural features, most notably the bricks that make up one entire wall.

The invitation to do this project came from Overnight Projects, a small but exceptionally creative and ambitious arts organization that bills itself as “a nomadic, artist-run exhibition initiative whose mission is to expand the contemporary art conversation in Vermont by inviting local, national, and international artists to create site-specific installations, performances, and related programming in non-traditional spaces.”  Their work can be followed at


This is the text of the sign that was posted on the front window of the exhibition space:


This light-art installation is the latest in a series which has filled vacant storefronts in Vermont downtowns with light and color.  Empty storefronts are not uncommon in Vermont towns, and can impart a gloomy, even desolate feel.   But the spacious, often historically significant spaces also present a unique opportunity to blend art and architecture, the past with the present, light and dark, emptiness and richness.


The installation is comprised of an array of off-the-shelf fluorescent light bulbs, an industrial product which isn’t out of place in a construction site such as this.  And yet when the bulbs are fitted with colored sleeves they produce a beautiful, encompassing light that draws attention to the layout of the space and highlights architectural features within it that are otherwise easy to overlook.


Passers-by are invited to stop and take some time to look at this easy-to-ignore space, and experience it in different, and perhaps surprising, ways.  The installation will be on view until March 15, and will be illuminated daily between 5:00 PM and 10:00 PM, or possibly later.

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