Electric Vision – A Light Painting Photography Public Art Project

Art and business are often seen as mutually exclusive. Our perception of art is that it is driven by passion, muse, and creativity. It is Vincent Van Gogh, working despite being ridiculed, and only celebrated posthumously. It is Frida Kahlo, driven to create self portraits in a time that celebrated muralists, overshadowed by her husband her entire career. Business, on the other hand, is perceived as professional, disciplined, logical. It is data and spreadsheets and budgets. These two worlds often seem unbridgeable, however, the gap between art and business is not as fundamental as our stereotypes lead us to believe. This understanding led us to create Electric Vision, a light painting photography public art project in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Electric Vision - A Light Painting Photography Public Art Project by Jeremy Mason McGraw

A Light Painting Photography Collaboration

Collaborations between artists and businesses can produce incredible, and mutually beneficial, results. For the artist who is engaged by a business, the relationship brings financial security, confidence, the freedom to work without having to keep potential buyers’ tastes in mind. Businesses, on the other hand, can leverage relationships with artists to shape and enhance their brand, stimulate creativity internally, reach new audiences, and convey their message in a compelling way.  

Many of the special projects we work on involve bringing art and business together in a way that benefits both, and Electric Vision is a perfect example of this relationship. This project began when Jeremy Mason McGraw won a poster competition for the 25th annual Eureka Springs May Festival of the Arts. Jeremy utilized stencils and light painting techniques to create a vivid photograph that was delightfully fantastical, and the success of the poster sparked an idea for a bigger project. A project that would promote Eureka Springs as a destination, as well as market local businesses, through public works of art.

Electric Vision Light Painting Exhibition PosterElectric Vision Light Painting Photography Exhibition At The Basin Park, Eureka Springs, Arkansas

A Public Art Project

Jeremy had recently finished a project in Italy, and while he was there he had stumbled across an outdoor photography exhibition available to the public 24/7. The accessibility of the art had struck Jeremy at the time, and he was inspired to create an exhibition that was equally public as part of the Festival of the Arts. He also wanted to create something that was not only worthwhile as a work of art, but promoted the creativity and individuality that thrived among the city’s small business owners.

The final exhibition that Jeremy created consisted of 20 images. Ten of the images were sponsored by local businesses, which were featured in the art; Ten depicted iconic scenes of Eureka Springs all in the same style as the award winning poster. For each of the images, Jeremy used different lighting, light painting, and exposure techniques to crafted  the whimsical scenes.  The final images were beautiful pieces that perfectly highlighted the assets and personalities of the businesses he worked with and promoted the town as a whole.

The exhibition received excellent local and regional media coverage, significantly raising awareness of the display which remained in the city’s central gathering place, Basin Spring Park, 24 hours a day for the duration of the month long festival. This was the first project in the town of its kind,  sparked a dialog about the arts that led to a continuation of the Creative Energy Project with two additional business + community installations the following year, “Mugs – Funny Faces of Public Art”  and “Sphere – A Public Art Connection”.  

Electric Vision Light Painting Photography Event at Basin Park, Eureka Springs, Arkansas