Unlimited Visibility Lighting Design (UVLD) teamed with technical producers production glue to deliver an understated look for a one-of-a-kind event: the Guggenheim Museum's First Annual Art Awards.
Devised by conceptual artist Rob Pruitt to be a performance-based artwork modeled after Hollywood awards ceremonies, the Art Awards honored artists and curators in nine categories and presented two lifetime achievement awards. The Delusional Downtown Divas satire group emcee'd and appeared in videos interspersed with presentations by celebrities who included Julianne Moore, Kylie Minogue and James Franco.
The gala evening's event sponsor was the Calvin Klein, Inc; the awards acted as a fundraiser for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, White Columns and Studio in a School. production glue assisted in establishing the creative direction for executive producers Bronwyn Keenan of the Guggenheim, and Jason Lord, Calvin Klein, Inc.'s Director of Special Events. production glue also coordinated all the vendors.
"The client wanted the stage, tables, lights and sound to be organic to the space and match the design aesthetic of Frank Lloyd Wright's iconic atrium and Calvin Klein's signature clean, white look," says UVLD design partner Gregory Cohen. "They didn't want high contrasts."
Since the guests were seated at the atrium's ground level UVLD placed all of the lights as high as possible shooting down so they would not see a lot of hardware on the museum's famous spiraling ramps. The event also eschewed color and moving lights favoring instead "an understated white look" from the moment the guests entered the space, Cohen explains.
"We've known production glue and principal Tom Bussey for years," he notes, "and what's great about them is that Tom is able to pass along creative direction in a way that conveys the client's desires while understanding enough about the technical aspects of the production to make it all possible. That's what they do best: take the vision of the client or creative director and deliver the experience they desire."
"Jason Lord, of Calvin Klein, was the perfect client creatively," Cohen added. "He was quite clear about the need for a white aesthetic, but he was also anxious to embrace color and animation during the recognition segment of the evening. This was, I'd suggest, the perfect balance between a no color look consistent with the space and the brand, as well as the hues and movements you expect in an awards show."
John Petrafesa of Syntonic Design Group provided the sound design for the Art Awards with lighting gear supplied by Scharff Weisberg and video equipment by MB Video.
Unlimited Visibility Lighting Design (UVLD) creates lighting designs for corporate theater, live entertainment, themed environments, trade shows and special events. UVLD is a partnership of 10 designers working in all aspects of lighting design; their work has been seen on stages and screens nationwide and around the world. Clients include IBM, Mitsubishi, Honda, Kia, Mercedes, Volvo, Volkswagen, John Deere, Microsoft, Cartier, Victoria's Secret, FedEx, Avon and Audi.