BLINK is Set to Takeover Cincinnati
Thanks to new technology, communities of artists have been able to reach new audiences, but rarely–particularly in recent years–do they get to take that connection IRL. The emerging and rapidly growing world of artistic possibilities is thrilling, but the true magic lies in the crossover between digital and physical. That very space is where BLINK, Illuminated by ArtsWave lives, bringing people from all over the world to Cincinnati and allowing them to experience truly immersive art amidst the cityscape. The nation’s largest light, art, and projection mapping experience, returns to Cincinnati for the first time since 2019 at the perfect time, bringing with it transcendent works across mediums.
Exciting fans and drawing in new attendees, the immersive art experience releases the first round of participating artists, proving the almost unbelievable amount of sheer talent and dedication poised to flood the Cincinnati streets. Iconic visual artist Shantell Martin brings her signature black and white style enriched by her background as an intuitive philosopher and cultural facilitator, perfectly aligning her with the event’s mission. Star muralist Case Maclaim transports a strong visual message of movement and unity through overlays of hands in different positions, depicting not just physical movement but also political and societal action.
Dedicated to the history and future of the city, world-class artists are poised to celebrate its unique culture. Portuguese visual artist and illustrator AddFuel is incorporating elements influenced by 140+ year old The Rookwood Pottery Company, ensuring the past is well represented deftly toeing the line between representing his own heritage and representing the rich history of the city itself. Artist Wendy Yu brings a collaborative effort of projection and dance, thanks to a partnership with Cincy-based Hip Hop Cultural Arts Center Elementz. Afro-surrealist visual artist Vince Fraser also explores the collaborative possibilities, working with Underworld Black Arts Festival and Napoleon Maddox to tell the history of Little Africa with a large-scale projection installation.
The region’s own artistic talent is front and center, with BLINK exhibiting their work on a massive scale. Michael Coppage is extending his BLACK BOX project with a large-scale projection installation. Local artist Jason Snell is incorporating projection mapping onto the ArtWorks Mural, Ezzard Charles: The Cincinnati Cobra that Jason also designed. Local production powerhouse Lightborne takes on the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) for the third year, in a projection display that is sure to wow. Local favorites DogFish Crew, Jessica Wolf, and Mallory Feltz will also be bringing the Cincy vibe. Linz & Lamb, the art duo with one member hailing from Cincy bring their incredible romantic connection to each piece they collaborate on, incorporating a love of the city as well.
BLINK is not limited to the streets of the city, but rather committed to truly integrating with the city itself, which includes installations at historical and architecturally significant buildings. Among a sea of innovations, the upcoming work at The American Building in OTR, Mother of God Church in Covington, KY, and Memorial Hall stand out. The American Building project will be the work of Sean Van Praag, a wonderful returning projection artist. The latter two will be completed by Antaless Visual Designs, the Italian projection company led by CEO Alessio Cassaro. In addition to incorporating historical Cincinnati architecture, BLINK will also integrate projection mapping onto an existing iconic mural, Cincinnati Toy Heritage, an ArtWorks Mural, designed by local artist Jonathan Queen, and projection mapped by international video-mapping artist, Graffmapping.
That’s not the only international contribution announced so far. This is Loop, the incredible UK-based large-scale multidisciplinary creations team, brings their PULSE installation to BLINK making this the first USA premiere of PULSE. Previously exhibited as TOROID, BLINK is honored to host their US premiere as PULSE on the heels of a successful installation in Las Vegas. OGE Design Group, the international art collective from Israel, is working with parade partners ish to bring their “Together” installation to the BLINK audience. Spanish team Pichiavo is bringing their widely recognized prowess in connecting paintings to sculpture in urban settings, further integrating the 2D and 3D aspects among the city.
The collaborative spirit is strong throughout the artist lineup and resulting event, with a particular focus on encouraging young artists. In order to accomplish this, MASARY Studios and the aforementioned Shantell Martin will both separately be working with youth artists through ArtWorks.
The sheer excitement doesn’t stop with fan-favorite Architects of Air returning for the third time with a brand new installation experience for Cincinnati. Mz Icar brings the awe-inspiring 20-foot sculpture “The Full Set,” which is sure to be a show-stopper. Sonny Day–one half of WBYK–will be participating and creating some exclusive BLINK merch. And Female lace-inspired artist Nespoon and Devious round out the announcement so far.
With Executive Director Justin Brookhart at the helm, BLINK is an exciting community-building experience. Brookhart’s organizational leadership skills and collaborative mindset lead the team towards a wider audience, celebrating all that Cincinnati/NKY and the art world at large have to offer.
“Curatorially, this year is going to feel different than years past. Development of BLINK means creating a lasting impact beyond the 4-day biennial experience that the event is known for, creating a spectacle unlike any previous year's event, and engaging with our community to make sure we’re honoring it and enriching it.”