Light for the Long Night
An art and light installation to be designed and coordinated by Cybele Moon and Nikki Kelley Kleinberg in collaboration with the Germantown, Philadelphia community.
This project recognizes winter solstice, and explores the darkness of night as metaphor for experiences
of grief and loss. “Light for the Long Night” offers illuminated lanterns along The Great Path,
the Lenni Lenape footpath turned Germantown Avenue, against the backdrop of the longest night of the year. Germantown neighbors will create 150+ handmade lanterns from repurposed materials
at community art events in the fall, to be installed for 3 nights on,
and around winter solstice in December 2022.
Lantern Installation at Beth Chaim Reform Congregation 2020
Light for the Long Night 2022
Winter holidays are often marked by traditional social gatherings, with one’s family of origin or chosen friends. It is also a time when people grieve those who are missing. Many report feeling especially isolated in their grief during the holidays, when all are expected to socialize and be happy. While people and cultures have different metaphors for the grief experience, many compare grief to a dark night, or a cold day. For some, the lack of sunshine and warmth in the winter also enhance sensations of grief.
Our project - “Light for the Long Night” will be an art and light installation along Germantown Ave, and will offer a welcoming sensory experience to viewers during the week of the winter solstice. We hope that the installation will communicate a sense of community support for those who might be grieving during the holidays.
The installation will be constructed from 100-200 handmade ‘lanterns’. The lanterns will be made out of upcycled and reconstructed plastic bottles that have been uniquely embellished through the use of colorful transparent papers. Lighting will be provided by the carefully designed use of outdoor string lights and battery controlled tea lights. Lanterns will be hung on outdoor structures / or installed in a garden facing the street. Host sites for the installation include the First United Methodist Church of Germantown (pending approval) and the Wyck House and Gardens. This event is inspired by artist Cybele's 2020 and 2021 creative collaborations with the Beth Chaim Reform Congregation in Malvern, PA for their now annual ‘Festival of Lights” (See work samples).
Germantown community members will have an opportunity to create lanterns during neighborhood gatherings and art making events. These free mini workshops will be provided at host sites such as Wyck Gardens and with other local Germantown organizations. Each of the 3-5 workshops will be coordinated by Cybele and Nikki with additional teaching artists, and will provide all supplies needed to create lanterns for the final event.
The lanterns will be prepped by the artists with a means to be hung / installed, and will then be stored at one of the host sites until our November Tech rehearsal, and our December 20, 2022 install date. The lanterns will be programmed to light up after the sun has set, and remain lit for 5 hours on each of the three nights.
Additional possibilities for this event include a lantern lighting ceremony on December 20, an outdoor non-denominational meditation / memorial event on December 21 and musical event to be held on our final night, December 22.
In-progress timeline for events
- July - August 2022 - Collect Plastic Bottles, Jugs. Clean, prep for decorating.
- September - October 2022 - Produce 3-5 Lantern making workshops. Prep lanterns to hang.
- November - Coordinate tech/rehearsal day to install Lanterns at chosen (previously approved) locations.
- December 20, 2022 - Set up Lantern Installation and open event.
- December 20, 21, 22 - Lanterns lit for 5 hours each night. events for each night TBA
- December 23- Strike (Pack up for storage) Lanterns, lights etc.
Possible site locations for Lantern Installation:
Wyck House and Gardens,
First United Methodist Church of Germantown
Artist / Creator Bios
Cybele Moon is a visual artist, costume designer and educator. As a visual artist, Moon works with textiles, cut-paper collage and multimedia Installations. Her work has been exhibited at galleries, public events, and with community organizations in Pennsylvania, California, Connecticut, and Illinois. As a costume designer she has worked with theater and dance companies, as well as colleges and universities to design and create costumes for over 140 productions. cybelemoondesign.com
Nikki Kelley Kleinberg is a spiritual care artist, serving as Chaplain at a Level I Trauma Center and quaternary care hospital in Philadelphia, PA. She is an active resident of Germantown in NW Philadelphia, and founding member of two intentional housing communities, one in which she lives with her partner and two children. mysticsinmedicine.org
Lantern making supplies & process
Lantern Installation at Beth Chaim Reform Congregation 2021