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Lumina light festival, a large-scale light and public art installation, debuts in Providence

The exhibit is on view through Feb. 20. Activities will include storytelling, free skating, a mobile sauna, facepainting, food trucks and more.

Lumina Light Festival continues through Feb. 20.Chris Anderson (cdamedia.us)

PROVIDENCE — A kaleidoscope of color and sound has arrived in Providence with the debut of Lumina light festival — a free public art and light installation that will illuminate the city during winter’s darkest months.

Twenty-five prisms of light were installed in the heart of downtown Providence on Thursday, stretching from BankNewport City Center to the 195 District Park via Dorrance Street. They will stay up until Feb. 20, according to a press release from Downtown Providence Parks.

The exhibition, called Prismatica, was founded by Montreal-based company Quartier des Spectacles Partnership. Similar displays have been installed in Montreal and New York City. It is the first time the exhibit has come to Providence.


The 6.5-foot prisms have rotating forms and emit iridescent colors while sounds of soft bell tones ring out. Each weighs about 700 pounds, and is composed of panels covered in dichroic film.

The goal is to transform downtown Providence into a vibrant hub of art and community spirit.

“Lumina represents a visionary step in leveraging public art and illumination as catalysts for economic development in downtown Providence,” said Nora Barre, executive director of the Downtown Providence Parks Network. “We wanted to bring this captivating festival to our city to enchant our community with light and art and illuminate the path toward downtown’s economic prosperity. Lumina serves as a beacon, drawing residents and visitors, fostering a vibrant atmosphere, and contributing significantly to our city’s economic vitality.”

“I am thrilled that the Downtown Providence Parks Network and my administration worked together to bring this exciting installation to Downtown Providence,” said Mayor Brett Smiley in a press release. “This full-sensory experience extends our programming beyond the holidays, highlighting Providence as a lively, inclusive year-round destination for all.”

Every weekend while the exhibit is on view, visitors can expect surprises along the art installation footprint, like hot chocolate scavenger hunts, drink specials, performances, and more. For the full schedule of events, visit downtownpvdpark.life.


During the weekend of Jan. 26 and 27, the city will have special offerings including food trucks, beer, and family-centric programs at downtown restaurants. Bodhi Spa’s mobile sauna will provide warmth and entertainment, according to the press release.

On Feb. 8, a panel of individuals dedicated to making downtown Providence a destination will convene at Venture Cafe “to explore how to bring more light into our city further,” according to the press release. The group is called Downtown Illumination: Strategies for Downtown Economic Prosperity, and is made up of five women in business.

This year’s Lumina Light Festival is likely the beginning of an ongoing partnership with the Canadian delegation, which was in town on Friday to celebrate the launch of the exhibit, according to Rosanna Ortiz, a public relations contact for Lumina festival.

“It’s going to be amazing,” she said.

Brittany Bowker can be reached at brittany.bowker@globe.com. Follow her @brittbowker and also on Instagram @brittbowker.