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Chicago’s Church Lit up with LED Lightings

Chicago’s Church Lit up with LED Lightings

With a mission to train the next generation of theatre artists in all disciplines, The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago had lighting design students illuminate St. Vincent de Paul Parish church in storytelling visuals and used an assortment of Elation lighting products supplied by Protolight, Inc. ( ) as their lighting tools. The 30-minute displays were presented May 20-22.

Dedicated in 1897, St. Vincent de Paul Parish church is an architecturally significant building and one of Chicago’s grandest Catholic churches. Students enveloped the façade’s rounded windows and doorways, and two stately bell towers, in moving and static images inspired by artists Leonid Afremov, AJ LaGasse, Vincent van Gogh, and Mary-Anne Papanek Miller, professor and chair of art, media and design at DePaul. The students crafted each display to interpret the artist’s unique sensibilities into the world of lighting design.

Guiding the project was Christine Binder, Head of Lighting Design at DePaul University, along with Shane Kelly, Head of Theatre Technology at DePaul. Four groups presented short light presentations on the south façade of the church, painting the church''s architecture and cream-colored Bedford stone (limestone) using both discharge and LED sources.

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The designs were created with guidance from renowned lighting designer Paul Gregory of Focus Lighting, who was trained at the Goodman School of Drama (now The Theatre School at DePaul University), and reflected his belief in a sense of drama and theatre in successful architectural showmanship. According to Gregory, his primary goal is to ensure that a patron''s initial impression of a space or facade is as stunning and memorable as the moment the curtain rises on a Broadway stage.

The lighting design students also worked with Theatre School alumnus Chris Prezas, owner of Protolight, Inc., who provided the Elation equipment for the project. Lighting tools at their disposal included the Platinum Spot 35 Pro moving head color changer, which gave students texture choices from two gobo wheels as well as animation effect possibilities; and the Platinum Spot 15R Pro, also a moving head color changer but with 22 gobo projection possibilities. Also available to students was the Platinum Profile 35 Pro moving head with 4-blade framing system for beam shape control. LED lighting fixtures included Elation’s SixPar 300 LED PAR color changer; Arena PAR Zoom RGBW PAR wash light with motorized zoom; and the Level Q7 LED PAR color changer.

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Topics: Lighting