Santa Monica glowed for the second time last Saturday night from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. with 20 displays of original commissioned contemporary art on the Santa Monica Pier, beaches, and Palisades Park.
About a hundred thousand people from near and far flocked to the only Glow event in the United States, which was inspired by Paris’ Nuit Blanche. The Los Angeles French Consul General, David Martinon, stated at the event’s opening ceremony that, “Santa Monica has been transformed into a work of art by these incredible transformations. Nuit Blanche in English means white night or any night that you don’t sleep at all.”
Local and international artists were chosen by a project selection jury to create glow’s installations.
It was no accident that this year’s Glow was much more mellow than Santa Monica’s first Glow event in 2008 which attracted more than 200,000 people, according to Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Supervisor, Nathan Birnbaum. There were “fewer exhibits but larger exhibits” and “there was more emphasis on having installations on the sand. The event’s geography was redesigned because the Pier had to be shut down in 2008 at 3 a.m.” due to over crowding.
The public’s reaction to this year’s Glow was mixed. Santa Monica resident, Chris Felker, thought the “idea was neat and the event’s website was phenomenal.” His favorite installations were on the beach because he liked viewing art with his shoes off.
Manhattan Beach’s Kristina Lee had a different take. “I was expecting something more of a spectacle.” She felt there should have been more information available on each installation because it was “hard to understand the inspiration” for the art.
Glow was produced by the City of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Arts Foundation in partnership with the Bayside District Corporation, the Pier Restoration Corporation, KCRW, the Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau, along with the support a number of other sponsors.
Additional information can be found at www.glowsantamonica.org where event photos from the public will eventually be displayed.