What if you could literally light up a neighborhood through a powerful combination of arts and engagement?
The Pool is an installation art piece of 40,000 LED bulbs and 106 pucks created by Brooklyn artist Jen Lewin, programmed to light up in clever, colorful ways when visitors step, run or dance across the piece. In 2017, the tech-enabled piece toured neighborhoods in East Chattanooga and brought families together in unexpected ways, in unexpected places. This installation kicked off The Highlight Festival which took place on the former HUD Housing Site called Harriet Tubman.
Activate vacant sites through the power of local collaboration and draw focus on neighborhoods in fun, bright ways. And did we mention dancing?
WHAT WE DID:
Glass House Collective, green|spaces, and our local partners worked with Jen Lewin to engineer a beautiful act of placemaking outside of typical venues to underscore the point that every type of family should have the opportunity to engage with home in a new way. While The Pool had toured major cities and events around the world (and clocked millions of steps), it had never made its way to the Southeast.
First stop: the East Chatt Highlight Festival — itself a feat of local partnership. Greeted by a full gospel showcase, The Pool brought locals and visitors together around a very bright event. The festival was held in the vacant site where 440 housing units of the Harriet Tubman Homes formerly stood. That’s also where kids from nearby Hardy Elementary met with the artist’s team and helped program color patterns and test out the massive installation. From there, the piece moved to a site on the 1900 block of Roanoke Avenue — just down the road from our very own Glass Street. Over the course of one week, The Pool moved around the area three times — from Highland Park, to East Chattanooga to East Lake — making a vibrant and dance-worthy event accessible to the families of Glass Street, all through the hard work of local partners.
There are so many things that are so right about our neighborhoods — but sometimes, you’ve got to set the stage to celebrate home. The Pool provided an opportunity for locals to pause, party and come together in an unconventional, highly ‘grammable way. Call it a slow down or a glow up: either way, it’s all about shining a light on our awesome neighborhoods.