Category Archives: Let There Be Light 2016

Let There Be Light 2016

WHEN: Friday, December 9th, 6 – 9 PM (Rain Date: Sat., Dec. 10th)
WHERE: The grounds surrounding the V. Earl Dickinson Building at Piedmont Virginia Community College, 501 College Drive, Charlottesville, VA 22902
FEE: Free and open to the public
INFORMATION: 434-977-6918,,,!/pages/Let-There-Be-Light/21445228606

This will be the tenth year that Let There Be Light will feature light-centered art installations and performances as the longest night of the year approaches – 12 days before the winter solstice. The exhibit, presented by the Piedmont Virginia Community College Art Gallery, will be a one-night, outdoor exhibit held on the grounds surrounding the V. Earl Dickinson Building at PVCC on Friday, December 9th, 6 – 9 PM (Rain date: Saturday, December 10th). The exhibit will be free and open to the public.

Visitors are invited to come as “enlightened beings” decorated in light. Everyone is encouraged to bring a flashlight. Hot chocolate, hot apple cider and tasty treats will be served to warm visitors. The event is curated by James Yates and co-organized with Beryl Solla, PVCC Gallery Director and Art Department Chair.

Here are some highlights of this year’s event: James Yates’ 10th Annual Luminous Egg Hunt invites visitors to search for luminous eggs hidden throughout the grounds. Let It Burn, by Alan Goffinski and Matthew Slaats, provides an opportunity for a “cathartic release for our collective anxiety” brought on by recent social and political events. Syntax of Snow, an audience participation piece by Matthew Burtner, encourages people to play with amplified, illuminated snow. Jennifer Hoyt Tidwell will present AWAKE, an ongoing performance of “apparitions and dreams and fitful sleep.”


James Yates – 10th Annual Luminous Egg Hunt

James Yates

Title: 10th Annual Luminous Egg Hunt


Description: Visitors will be invited to hunt for luminous eggs (with a surprise inside) hidden throughout the grounds.

Bio: James Yates has a background in the visual and performing arts encompassing a range of media, including performance art, site-specific sculpture, improvisational theatre, and interactive, multi-media installations. He is currently leading workshops for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts throughout Virginia. He is the originator and curator of the annual events, Let There Be Light and Yard Dreams. A primary aim of his work is to re-enchant our experience of the world.

Circe Strauss – Identity Disorder

Circe Strauss             

Title: Identity Disorder

Description: Floating spheres of personal expression. Experience the Id.

Bio: Circe Strauss worked as a special effects technician for the movie industry in the 80’s and early 90’s in Los Angeles. She worked on 14 feature films, plus dozens of commercials and one children’s show. She moved to Charlottesville in the mid-90’s and retrained as a programmer. She combines both skills in her art.

Mark Nizer and Steve Hunter – The Spectrum Guys

Mark Nizer and Steve Hunter

TitleThe Spectrum Guys

Description: Mark Nizer and Steve Hunter collaborate once again at the pond. The Spectrum Guys will use thousands of lumens of light from monster projectors to bend your mind and excite your optic nerves.

Bios: Mark Nizer has changed the way people view the world. The impossible is possible, the improbable is probable. Mark’s twenty years on stage has taken his one man show to thousands of venues around the world, including the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts three times. Creating new ways to delight and entertain his audiences is at the heart of Mark’s mission. His time is spent tinkering with all sorts of gadgets, midi devices, sensors and toys. He is constantly working on new ideas and tricks to add to his show. With an occasional success and many failures; Mark has spent his life nurturing and growing the works you are about to see. Mark Nizer has opened for George Burns, Ray Charles and Bob Hope. He has appeared on The Arsenio Hall Show, LA Law, Bob Hope and Other success and many failures; Mark has spent his life nurturing and growing the works you are about to see. Mark Nizer has opened for George Burns, Ray Charles and Bob Hope. He has appeared on The Arsenio Hall Show, LA Law, Bob Hope and Other Young Comedians, MTV, Comic Strip Live and Carolines A&E. Believe it or not, he even did a show for the OJ Jury. Look for him this season touring with Barry Manilow. His work can be found on

Steve Hunter has worked as a builder, designer, educator, stage actor, set designer and modern dance choreographer. In addition, he is the Founder and Director of the Charlottesville Maker Faire.

Allyson Mellberg Taylor and Jeremey Taylor – Knotweed

Allyson Mellberg Taylor and Jeremy Taylor

Title: Knotweed

Description: A projected animation of Allyson’s and Jeremy’s drawings on a sculpture.

Bios: Allyson Mellberg Taylor is a drawer, painter, printmaker, sculptor, sewer, organic vegetable and pigment gardener, mama, zine/artist book maker, science-fiction lover, and art teacher who lives in Charlottesville, Virginia. Allyson’s work is rooted in dystopic sci-fi and the lovely/uncomfortable space we humans attempt to occupy in nature. Allyson frequently collaborates with her husband Jeremy Seth Taylor (her favorite artist). Allyson and Jeremy have a daughter named Margot, two cats called Matokie and Denree, and a handful of unnamed houseplants.

Jeremy Seth Taylor is a painter, drawer, printmaker, animator, sculptor, bio-intensive food and pigment gardener, and educator. His work is built from a strong reverence for animals and nature. He explores issues of fear, domination, exploitation, manipulation and control. In his work, Jeremy uses traditional forms that are reminiscent of Japanese block printing, children’s book illustrations, comic books, and Flemish engravings. His work finds the space where these illustrative formats converge to slur ideas of innocence and experience; where fantasy merges with ominous realism. He loves animals, oceans, foraging, making zines, collaborating with his wife to make art supplies, drawings and sculptures, building things out of wood, and making skateboards and surfboards. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia with his wife Allyson, daughter Margot, and cat Matokie.

Jennifer Hoyt Tidwell with Miller Susen, Jennifer Downey, Ted Coffey, Aaron Farrington, Allyson Mellberg Taylor and Jeremy Taylor – AWAKE

Title: AWAKE

Description: Apparitions and dreams and fitful sleep. A live performance featuring Miller Susen and Jennifer Downey with sound by Ted Coffey, film by Aaron Farrington, and masks and costumes by Allyson Mellberg Taylor and Jeremy Taylor.

Bio: Jennifer Hoyt Tidwell is a theatre and performance artist, and an MFA playwright at Hollins University.  She is the 2016 Public Artist at the Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative where she recently adapted and produced her play NO WAKE as an outdoor site-specific multimedia performance.  She is currently a member of Charlottesville, VA-based devised theater collective PEP (Performers Exchange Project) which she co-founded in 2005. Jennifer studied theatre at Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and the Neighborhood Playhouse (NYC) and received her degree in English Literature from the University of Virginia. Website:


Chris Haske with Peabody School Art Students – To Happen Upon the Fantastical

Chris Haske with Peabody School Art Students

Title: To Happen Upon the Fantastical

Description: Illuminated figurative sculptures illustrate what happens when one comes in contact with the fantastical.

Bio: Chris Haske was born in Orange County, Southern California and received a studio art degree from Whitman College. He has taught in South Korea, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York, Honduras, and Virginia. In the midst of traveling and teaching he has earned a Masters in Art Education from NYU. He currently teaches art at Peabody School in Charlottesville, Virginia. He lives in a little house in the woods with his wife and two daughters. Website:

Diana Hale – Illumination

Diana Hale

Title: IIlumination

Description: Three incandescent pillars of light.

hale-illumination1 hale-illuminations

Bio: Diana Hale graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Radio-Television- Film, and received certificates in Graphic Design and Web Technologies from Piedmont Virginia Community College. Her mail art collaboration, The Philpott Lake Project, was on display in the PVCC South Gallery from September 16th through November 2nd, 2016 and can be viewed on Tumblr indefinitely. Weighing approximately 3,000 pounds, her Let There Be Light installation will be her largest project to date.  She currently supports her creative endeavors by working as a stonemason’s apprentice and as an antique dealer.

Alan Goffinski and Matthew Slaats – Let It Burn

Alan Goffinski and Matthew Slaats

Title: Let It Burn


Description: Matthew Slaats and Alan Goffinski need to get something off their chest. As a matter of fact, they’re not the only ones. It seems like everyone is a little on edge lately. No doubt, the past year has been tense for everyone. As a society we have just endured a season of palpable discord that has forced a schism in the very foundation of our civil society. Join us near the pond by the Dickinson building at 7:00 to participate in a spirited, cathartic release of our collective anxiety… and let it burn.

Bios: Matthew Slaats and Alan Goffinski are Charlottesville based social practice artists with a proclivity towards collaboration in their work.

Alan Goffinski is a recent transplant to Central Virginia. His work incorporates whimsy, inclusiveness, and participation while seeking to use art and creative placemaking as an invitation to broader perspectives.

Matthew Slaats engages in hybrid roles, as an artist, designer, teacher, organizer, and activist, focusing on how art is used to address equity and social justice. Situated in the public realm, Matthew’s work initiates ways of understanding the complexity of place, using culture, media, and technology as a form for community engagement and investment.

Mark Edwards – OMGOMGLOL

Mark Edwards


Description: The OMGOMGLOLO repeats previous failed efforts at the synthesis of intersectionality and non-intersectionality. The member sets of these units are oh-so-tired, like the tropes in an episode of Gilligan’s Island, or perhaps the representations of hepsachordianism and scrantonbillies. As every scrantonbilly knows, not every cup is haffull, haffmtea—it is what you do with the glass tha mattr.

Bio: Mark Edwards, what you might call a random mutation, is continuing to break them rocks. He brought forth upon this earth, not a single child. Made a little love. Got down tonight. The previous attempts at humor fell flat. So he was born in Alabama, no banjos. He’s so very interested in invisible form, form of objects with dimensions invisible to the eye. Really. So hard to take Edwards seriously, but taken he must be. Raised in North Carolina, Penna., washed a lot of dishes in Memphis, spent some time in New Orleans. Escaped from San Francisco. Been living in a groovy hut in Belmont for nigh on two decades. Made plenty of enemies, bitter, resentful, but dealing, oh, GOD, dealing with it. Still working on “Hey Mad Scientist” a feature length film essay (oh god, no!). Edwards’ One Minute Movies (143 one minute movies made before the artist crapped out). To view his work, go to: