Community Art Projections Brighten Up Dark Winter Nights

by Elias Rieger, Community Animator

In the middle of winter, UBC gets only about 8 hours of light per day. With the sun setting before 5pm, we have to find ways to keep our community bright during these rainy, sleepy months. That’s why we launched a design competition last November to ask the question: What lights you up?

Members of the community submitted original artwork and animations that represented their unique answer to this question. The winners were selected by a panel of judges and their designs were projected onto Money and Raymond M.C. Lee Square for the first time this January. The winning projections will be displayed until the end of the month.

It’s important to remember what brings us joy, especially during times of difficulty. We discovered that folks at UBC are inspired by a wide range of activities, ideas, and places. The winner of the student category, Z. Zeng, created a beautiful illustration showing the footprints of humans and various animals. This symbolizes “a state of co-existence, which can only be achieved when humans start to be accountable for their actions and embrace diversity”.

We also encouraged children and youth living on campus to submit in the ‘What Lights You Up?’ Design Competition. Using their personal passion for design, E. Lau was selected for the winner of this category. Explaining the process behind their work, E. Lau wrote, “I enjoy creating art for others to provide positivity through design. I get inspiration from other creators as well, which creates this cycle of positive energy and inspiring motivation”.

For the third category, we invited people to create digital animations. J. Roh was selected as the winner of the Digital Animator category, with a short video showing the changing of the seasons on campus. Through their design, Roh wants to extend a message of unity to the community. “This year has posed some unexpected challenges to us all, and I would like the members of my community to know that we are stronger together, as a community.”

Aside from the winners, we received an overwhelming amount of creative and thoughtful entries for the contest. We found that our community is “lit up” by a diverse range of things, from friendship and connection to math vectors and collective action. Thank you to all who took the time to submit! 

Photos of Special Mentions:

A. Gibson

C. Shao

L. Boltwood & C. Liu

J.Weng

You can also watch a video of the winning projections and read the full inspirations from the winners and special mentions at utown.ubc.ca/lights.