Light Up! Ninth Square

June 1—July 28, 2018

Nancy Davidson, Min Sin, 2017. Mixed media. Installation View from p e r Sway, Locust Projects, Miami, FL., 20x30x70 inches; Photo By: STUDIO LHOOQ.


  • Artspace (50 Orange)
  • Former Fresh Yoga Studios (49 Orange)
  • Former Reynolds Fine Art Gallery (96 Orange)
  • Former ACME Furniture Store (33 Crown)
  • Former Neville Wisdom Fashion Studio (63 Orange)
  • Former Vovo Organics and Graffio Jewelers (28 Orange)

Artspace is excited to present Light Up! Ninth Square, a public art project that brings light installations to empty storefronts in New Haven’s historic arts and innovation district.  As day turns to night, the installations will activate five spaces, just steps away from Artspace’s downtown gallery.

The featured artists incorporate light into their installation-based practices, and employ a range of mediums in their works, including painting, photography, drawing, text, new media and performance.  The content of the installations range from an exploration of the mood-inducing effects of experiencing light, surreal mise-en-scene encounters, and the way we read signage in a city.  The group heralds from New Haven, Hartford, Nashville, Philadelphia and New York City, and include artists who have shown nationally and abroad.  Selected artists include: Nancy Davidson, Joe Bun Keo, Alexandria Mento, Matthew Schreiber, and Siebren Versteeg.

This initiative represents a partnership with the Town Green District, the City of New Haven and local merchants who have all recognized a shift in our neighborhood.  Over the past four months, a dozen businesses  in the Ninth Square have moved out.  While the property managers look for new tenants, Artspace has invited artists to inhabit the empty spaces with formally and conceptually stunning artworks that bring energy, humor, color, and commentary to the street.

The storefront sites include: a former Yoga Studio (Fresh Yoga), a clothing atelier (Neville Wisdom’s design shop), an art gallery (Reynold’s Fine Art), a mid-century modern furniture shop (ACME), and an organic body shop and jeweler (Vovo Organics and Graffio Jewelers).  The exhibition recalls Artspace’s own social history as a former civil-war era furniture factory (Chamberlain’s Furniture).  These sites range in aesthetic, window size, square footage, and history, and some of these qualities will be illuminated in the work.  Each storefront will include a back lit artwork description to provide passersby with added information about, and a greater context for the work.

The Opening Reception will take place on Friday, June 1 from 6-8pm, in conjunction with a “Lights, Camera, ActiOn9!” themed block party thrown by the Town Green District with special programming by Baobab Tree Studios and the 48 Hr Film Project.  Join Artspace’s Curator, Sarah Fritchey, and some of the exhibiting artists, for a Curator and Artist Talk.  We’ll stop at all five storefront sites to discuss the artwork on view and adventure into our city’s past, present and future.  The first tour will leave from Artspace (50 Orange Street) at 6pm.  The second will leave from Artspace at 7pm.  Please wear comfortable shoes.

The initiative is commissioned by Artspace with support from The Residences at Ninth Square, Town Green District, and The Community Foundation of Greater New Haven.