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ILLUMINATE: Utah’s Light Art + Creative Tech Fest

ILLUMINATE Light Art + Creative Tech Fest

Utah Arts Alliance announces the sixth annual ILLUMINATE: Utah’s Light Art + Creative Tech Fest on Friday, November 11 and Saturday, November 12.  ILLUMINATE  is a free celebration of innovation and imagination for the community, art lovers, and families. Artists working with technology and using light as their medium will use Downtown Salt Lake CIty’s Library Square as a canvas to  create projection-mapped artwork, 3D Sculptures and exhibits inspired by the theme Mother Nature in Light. 

ILLUMINATE  is moving festival headquarters to Library Square and bringing some of the biggest art pieces yet to this free community event. Highlights include Salt Lake CIty’s first public drone show and a large-scale projection mapping piece on the City and County Building, one of the state’s  iconic architectural gems. Additional activities include  live music and entertainment, food and beverages, art booths, STEAM exhibitors and light art installations from local and regional artists. 

Derek Dyer, Executive Director of the Utah Arts Alliance says, “Utah Arts Alliance has been at the forefront of supporting and exhibiting new and underrepresented art forms in Utah for nearly two decades. ILLUMINATE continues to push the boundaries of the intersection of art, light, and technology. Too often these types of art forms are only shown in exclusive private and corporate settings. Our mission is to bring creative technology to everyone in the community, to inspire young and seasoned creators to explore the possibilities, and to put Utah on the map as a cultural center of innovators. Our local community and visitors have embraced this unique and beloved event, coming to the cultural core to experience this singular event.”

Kim Angeli, ILLUMINATE Festival Director, noted, “ILLUMINATE’s artistic theme is Mother Nature in Light. As the world evolves from a period of collective darkness, now is the time to focus on healing—of ourselves, our communities and the natural world that supports our existence. The artists presenting at ILLUMINATE have been challenged to express their works based on Mother Nature. The theme is grounded in the nurturing and supportive notions of the feminine spirit. You will notice nods to this in the visual presentations but also in our entertainment line up, food trucks and artist booths. Nature has inspired art since the beginning of time; through patterns, colors, shapes and feelings. What will these artists have to say? We will soon find out; and I, for one, can’t wait.”. 

Festival Hours: 

November 11 and 12, 5 – 11 pm
No Admission Cost, All Ages 

At Library Square (400 S and 200 E) with indoor activities at The Leonardo

Festival Features:

Drone Light Show, November 11 at 8 pm; above the City County Building

Don’t miss ILLUMINATE’s first Drone Light Show where 150 drones will fly high above the City County Building, 400 feet in altitude to be precise. The drones are illuminated, synchronized and choreographed into various aerial formations. Creative technology is gaining popularity around the world as we look for alternatives to fireworks. Drone Light Shows blend art and tech with a huge “wow factor” without air and noise pollution.  ILLUMINATE is bringing this show to Salt Lake City in partnership with Open Sky Productions. Prime viewing area is from the festival grounds on 200 East.

Projection Mapping, November 11 and 12 during festival hours

With projection mapping, artists combine light, space, and technology to create magical scenes on seemingly ordinary spaces, like the City and County building! Objects are not just projected onto a flat surface, they are designed to wrap around buildings and mold to their shape, pixel by pixel, turning common objects into interactive 3D displays. For ILLUMINATE, Local Artists have  designed a projection show based on Mother Nature in Light. The show will play every fifteen minutes during festival hours. 

STEAM Lab, sponsored by The Leonardo, November 11 and 12, 5 – 10 pm 

Enter The Leonardo’s Flight Exhibit to experience ILLUMINATE’s take on S.T.E.A.M. programming (science, technology, engineering, ART and mathematics), that special place where the creative and technology sectors come together. This space is designed for attendees of all ages to engage in interactive activities built around light and technology.

Exhibitors include Spark Science, Clark Planetarium, U of U Physics, student robotics teams, Utah Film Center and Make Salt Lake. 

Illuminate guests will be able to access The Leonardo’s Flight exhibit for free. Admission to the rest of the museum includes the Art Through Experience immersive art shows for the discounted rate of $20. Tickets can be purchased at the front desk or online at

Light Museum, November 11 and 12 during festival hours

The light museum encompasses festival grounds. With support from the National Endowment for the Arts, ILLUMINATE issued more than 20 grants to bring light art installations to the festival. Take your time to explore the whimsical creations from mobile art cars, roving performers and installations sprinkled throughout Library Square and 200 East.