The project is an interactive multi-media sculptural luminary nearly 40’ tall installed in the central gallery of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, MS. The soaring structure is composed of intertwined blades, each constructed from custom bent aluminum tubing sheathed with a holographic tensile fabric skin. Each blade is lit from within by LED light modules that are programmed to respond to the movements of museum visitors in the gallery. Audio speakers are also housed within the luminary and like the lights, respond to the presence and motion of people in the room below. The galleries of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum don’t shy away from difficult truths. The museum’s exhibits also bring forward stories of hope, courage, and action—stories of individuals who took a moral stand and made a difference. To unify the visitor’s journey through the museum around these beacons of hope and the knowledge that every person has the capacity to change the world for better, the museum’s exhibit designer, Hilferty & Associates, designed the galleries to encircle a soaring, light-filled, central space and a stunning multi-media sculptural luminary of their design, "This Little Light of Mine." Suspended in the center of a dramatic fifty-foot tall circular gallery, "This Little Light of Mine" is illuminated from within by 6,000 LED lights. The sculpture sparkles with lights that move in waves through its blades in response to the motions of people in the gallery, while songs of the Civil Rights movement emanate from speakers hidden within. In its signature transition, the solo voice of a young girl sings the spiritual “This Little Light of Mine.” As more people enter the gallery, more voices join in singing, culminating in a rousing gospel choir filling the heights of the central atrium. To realize their vision for "This Little Light of Mine," designer Hilferty & Associates of Athens, Ohio, brought together a team of creative and technical partners, each bringing their unique contribution to the project. Monadnock Media of Hatfield, Massachusetts designed and programmed the content and interactive elements. As the design for the luminary evolved, it became apparent that a fabric structure was uniquely suited for the project. Transformit was brought on board by the museum exhibits fabricator, Exhibit Concepts of Vandalia, Ohio, to design, build and install the structure. Communications Electrical Design (CED) of Louisville, Kentucky engineered and installed the electrical components necessary to integrate Monadnock’s designs into the structure. The design team experimented with scaled and 1:1 prototypes to assess the suitability of various components and the requirements necessary for integrating the electronic elements into the structure while maintaining the artistic integrity and intent of the project. These exercises guided decisions around many components, including Transformit’s choice of fabric, their design and fabrication of the custom hardware, and team’s choice of LED modules. The fabric structure and LED components were assembled on site and installed in segments in the fall of 2017. The museum opened on December 9, 2017.
View project on CODAworx: codaworx.com/project/this-little-light-of-mine-mississippi-civil-rights-museum-5ae7e3ca41259