UAB’s Alys Stephens Center is the canvas for “Light Dreams” festival

Art & technology meet for this free festival, with digital projections created by Birmingham artists, live music, dance, digital graffiti wall and more.

A team of Birmingham’s best artists will use UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center (ASC) as a canvas for their digitally projected artworks for “Lux Somnia: Light Dreams,” May 2-3, 2013.


For “Light Dreams,” the ASC continues its mission to curate and create community arts experiences, and this combination of art and technology on such a grand scale has never before been seen in Birmingham. For this digital art and music festival, which is free and open to everyone, the entire southern façade of the ASC building will be wrapped in fabric and transformed into a giant projection screen. Performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. both nights outside the ASC at 1200 10th Ave. South.

Commissioned by the Alys Stephens Center and spearheaded by Birmingham’s own “mad scientist” painter, sculptor and digital projection artist Jean-Jacques Gaudel, this groundbreaking festival will include:

  • The premiere of three architecturally mapped “light dream” projection shows designed specifically for the ASC building – the centerpiece, titled “Artista Somnia” and created by Gaudel, brings a surrealistic fantasy to life through a series of vignettes
  • A parade both nights featuring dancers, community participants and drummers
  • A 3-D virtual-reality “light dream” from UAB’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Enabling Technology Laboratory
  • Live music from Blue Galaxy String Project and Juka Tribe, featuring Eric Essix and Sharrif Simmons, and live VJ’ing on the building
  • A giant interactive video game created by UAB’s Department of Computer and Information Sciences
  • A giant digital graffiti wall where guests can create their own works of art
  • Mind-blowing “Points of Light” installations by innovative local artists
  • Graceful dancers working their illuminating artistry with electroluminescent wire
  • An interactive sound and video installation, “Touch-Tone,” by UAB’s Department of Art and Art History’s time-based media project
  • Food from the city’s favorite local vendors, and cash bars with light-themed drinks

The public can get involved in the “Light Dreams” festival by sharing a message in lights for the world to see. Submit a “Light Dream” in 40 characters or less through March 15 at Winning submissions will see their dream in lights.

ArtPlay will offer two workshops in conjunction with the festival. On April 13 from 1-5 p.m. ArtPlay will present “The Fine Art of VJ’ing,” for ages 12-18. For a $25 fee participants can learn to create or manipulate imagery through real-time editing using video-jockeying software in synchronization to music, then use their skills to VJ at the festival. At 2 p.m. April 20, ArtPlay will offer a free “Light Dreams” themed art workshop for families. Adults and children will have the opportunity to create their own portable light mobiles and sculptures to carry in the “Light Dreams” parade. Attendees are encouraged to wear items of clothing or accessories that glow in the dark or are illuminated to the festival.

The ASC Light Dreams Artistic Team includes Gaudel, Liesa Cole, Randal Crow, Mary Foshee, Randy Gachet, John and Katie Gaiser, Heather Spencer Holmes, Christophe Nicolet, Tony Rodio, John Scalici, Joe Walker, Veronique Vanblaere, Sarah Heath, Jessica Simpson, Adam Stermer, Kimberly Kirklin and Amber Allen-Parsons.

The festival and its events will be brought to the community by Jemison Investment Co., IMS, UAB and Viva Health. The festival is free, although donations to the ASC for future programming will be encouraged. A rain date has been set for Saturday, May 4. Call 205-975-2787 or visit