For the second time, banks of projectors and video equipment are transforming downtown buildings into giant outdoor canvases during the Napa Lighted Art Festival, which will run nightly through Jan. 20. More than a dozen locations are being transformed into an open-air exhibit showcasing the work of visual artists across the U.S. and abroad, from Oakland and New Orleans to as far afield as the United Kingdom and Italy.
On the lawn of The Village at Vista Collina in south Napa, spectators laid blankets and pillows beneath a star-shaped canopy 26 feet across. Reclining like stargazers, they let their eyes follow the hundreds of LEDs above them as they formed waves, starbursts, pink butterflies and blue jellyfish, unfolding and vanishing to the notes of “The Nutcracker” or “Eine kleine Nachtmusik.”
The experience of watching “Constellation” moved one older woman to such emotion that she sought out its creator, Christopher Schardt of Oakland, and embraced him. “Thank you; it’s a religious experience,” she whispered.