RiverFest to Feature Large-Scale Light Sculptures

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peacockTwo of the most popular art installations from Baltimore’s Light City festival, “Charlie the Peacock” and “Diamonds,” will be in Chestertown beginning Friday, September 23, as part of the two-day RiverFest celebration.  Funding for the installations is being provided by SANDBOX, ThinkBig, the Kent County Arts Council and an anonymous donor.

Also being unveiled are three sculptures created by local artists specifically for RiverFest. Artists Rob Glebe and Cindy Fulton each submitted a work, and Breon Gilleran and Patti & Dave Hegland collaborated on a third. Their creations will be mounted on the pedestrian bridge near the Fish Whistle restaurant.

Charlie the Peacock, a dazzling light show in the form of a giant steel peacock, will be installed for two nights at the Town Landing, foot of High Street, Friday and Saturday and will tower over street parties both nights.  Conceived and created by Baltimore based artists Tim Scofield and Kyle Miller, Charlie was voted Best Exhibit of 2016 by the readers of Baltimore Magazine. With his steel feathers fully extended, the animatronic peacock measures about 20 feet tall and 40 feet wide and weighs more than half a ton.  

Charlie works his magic through 14,400 light emitting diodes, or LEDs, which the artists control remotely through an iPad. The movement of the feathers is controlled by a 16-ton log splitter.  Scofield and Miller worked with technicians Will Cocks and Steve Dalnekoff on the fabrication.

Friday night’s RiverFest kick-off party at the foot of High will start at 5:30 with music by Pres Harding and the Illuminators. Food, wine and beer will be for sale, along with glow sticks and necklaces.  At 9 p.m., viral YouTube sensation Tyshawn “YvngSwag” Johnson will perform a set of his millennial hip-hop dancing. Johnson, a senior at Kent County High School, has amassed more than 3 million views of his original YouTube video, “Big Green Tractor REMIX” and has 570,000 followers on Instagram at @yvngswag.

Saturday, as the finale of RiverFest, a Peacock Glow party will take place next to Charlie beginning at 7 p.m. with family-oriented offerings such as ice cream, ping-pong and crafts. From 8 to 10, popular Baltimore deejays Shawn Smallwood and Ducky Dynamo will provide dance music.

Field of Diamonds

diamondsThe creative work of husband and wife team Mina Cheon and Gabriel Kroiz, the large-scale LED sculptures titled “Diamonds” will be installed along the curve of S. Cross Street, on KRM Real Estate Development’s Stepne Station property, from Friday, September 23, through Saturday, October 1. 

Cheon and Kroiz created their first diamonds back in 2007 in Seoul and have since exhibited different versions in the U.S. and abroad.  For Light City, they placed 15 diamonds along the Inner Harbor.  For Chestertown’s display, they plan to install five sculptures in a variety of sizes, from 3 ½ feet to 14 feet high.

Mina Cheon is a Korean American new-media artist, scholar, and full-time professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Gabriel Kroiz, an architect and educator, is the principle of Kroiz Architecture and an associate professor and chair of the undergraduate program in architecture and design at Morgan State University.

Baltimore’s first annual Light City Festival was held last spring and was billed as the first large-scale international light festival in the United States. For more information, visit lightcity.org.

For information about RiverFest, visit chestertownriverarts.com.

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