Tuesday November 15, 2011
Tags for: Celebrate the Season at the Winter Lights Lantern Festival throughout December
  • Press Release

Celebrate the Season at the Winter Lights Lantern Festival throughout December

exterior of the CMA building

Highlights include elaborate lantern installations and an illuminated evening procession

CLEVELAND (November 15, 2011) —The Cleveland Museum of Art presents the 18th annual Winter Lights Lantern Festival from December 2–31, 2011. The lanterns will be displayed outside on Wade Oval, inside the museum, and for the first time, on the new east wing terrace. Inspired by cross-cultural ceremonial lighting traditions, the community arts festival is a seasonal museum celebration and a component of University Circle Inc.'s Holiday CircleFest on Sunday, December 4.

Created by regional artists, three separate illuminated house-themed installations are featured in the 2011 Winter Lights Lantern Festival. The east wing terrace, located off of the museum's glass box gallery and poised one story above ground, will be the setting for The Lighting of Hill House. Designed by the museum's artistic director of community arts, Robin VanLear, the structure is inspired by the iconic "house" of the game Monopoly. Like the game house, Hill House, with its simple form and proportion, represents the American ideal of a home of one's own. By placing it just out of reach, warmly glowing from within, it becomes representative of every person's dream. This piece was originally created for a performance opening the annual Flimp Festival at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts in Alabama and has appeared in Rockefeller Park for One World Day.

Environment of Lights, an artist collaborative installation, will be displayed on Wade Oval and the main component is titled House on Stilts. Comprised of a stylized house in miniature and perched on stilted legs in the middle of the Oval, the sculpture is manufactured of metal angel iron and wire mesh. The house is encircled by five very large, colorful birds fabricated from rebar and covered in batiked cotton. Cleveland artists designed the house on stilts, dyed the birds, and created the fanciful lamp that resembles a giant flower growing up out of the floor, illuminating the house.

The elaborate lantern installations will flow into the museum's education and north lobbies. The festival's feature installation and third house, The Recycling of Hill House, will be set in the museum's education lobby and is a collective work designed by Robin VanLear, Wendy Mahon, and Debbie Apple-Presser. The installation depicts a fantasy world in which a small central house rests amidst a landscape of oversized flora. This illuminated otherworld is created from recycled materials like soda pop cans, potato chip bags, and newspapers. Art therapist Nancy Roy and the residents of Abington Arms have created floral elements for The Recycling of Hill House that are portable and will be removed and carried in the illuminated lantern procession. Placed just inside the north door is a set of four lanterns constructed of Kinwashi paper and split bamboo. Replicas of the museum's bronze Han Dynasty Bells, these lanterns are 10 times the original scale. Star Lanterns, two small cluster installations, designed in collaboration with the Cleveland Museum of Art's Womens Council, will be located in both the garage tunnel leading into the museum and near the Ingalls Library.

The Winter Lights Lantern procession caps the Holiday CircleFest celebration. Beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 4, a procession of lights will leave from the museum's north door and proceed into Wade Oval where it will wind its way through the Environment of Lights. The procession will be led by illuminated dancers and giant puppets with accompanying music by Shaw High School Rhythm Teens, followed by the resident lanterns from Abington Arms and several lanterns made by families participating in the pre-festival public lantern-making workshops at the museum. All Holiday CircleFest attendees may join in the illuminated procession. Individuals making lanterns at the museum's free workshops from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m. on December 4 are especially encouraged to light their lanterns and join the procession. For a modest price, lanterns made by Womens Council members may be purchased in the museum and be carried in the procession.

Holiday CircleFest events at the Cleveland Museum of Art on Sunday, December 4 include:

1:00–5:30 p.m.

  • Explore magical lantern displays within the museum and outside on Wade Oval in the Environment of Lights installation

1:00–3:00 p.m.

  • Picture yourself in works of art using technology
  • Learn about Chinese ink painting in a demonstration by artist Mitzi Lai
  • Visit the Art Cart and touch authentic Chinese art objects made from silk, ceramics and bronze

1:00–5:00 p.m.

  • Enjoy refreshments and pick up special holiday gifts in the museum store
  • Explore the permanent collection (free; highlights tours 1:30 p.m. & 3:30 p.m.)
  • Take in the special exhibition Chinese Art in an Age of Revolution: Fu Baoshi ($; exhibition tour 2:30 p.m.)

2:00–4:30 p.m.

  • Create your own Asian-inspired lantern to carry in the procession

3:00–4:30 p.m.

  • Check out a performance by the Rhythm Teens of Shaw High School

5:30 p.m.

  • Join the Winter Lights Lantern Procession of illuminated dancers, giant puppets, and handmade lanterns, as it proceeds from the north door to the Environment of Lights on Wade Oval.

Shopping and Refreshments
Unique gifts are available for purchase in the main lobby museum store and exhibition store, including items inspired by the current exhibition Chinese Art in an Age of Revolution: Fu Baoshi (1904–1965). The store offers a selection of jewelry, ornaments, matted prints and art books and exhibition catalogues. Visitors are invited to enjoy refreshments for purchase in the museum café.

The Winter Lights Lantern Festival is sponsored by AkzoNobel, makers of Glidden™ paint. Holiday CircleFest is presented by University Circle Inc. For more information about Holiday CircleFest, visit www.universitycircle.org. For more information on the Winter Lights Lantern Festival and the Cleveland Museum of Art's participation in Holiday CircleFest, visit www.ClevelandArt.org/lanternfestival.

Contact the Museum's Media Relations Team:
(216) 707-2261