James Turrell, Whitney Museum 1982
“An invitation of a beautiful street is an invitation to walk within a dream!”
― Mehmet Murat Ildan
“La rue est une musée pour tous!” “The street is a museum for all.”
Mara Ellsworth is an artist and architect who is committed to revitalizing empty storefronts, abandoned properties and urban street life, particularly businesses hit hard by the changing retail landscape through the succession of on-line shopping. Her video projections are cast as luminous dreamscapes offering beauty, new meaning and hope to darkened windows. She weaves together site-specific references to history, ethnicity, flora, fauna and culture of each neighborhood where her imagery has been installed. Her visions are accompanied by eerily familiar sounds, which can be heard on smartphones through the LuminousDreams app.
Throughout her professional career as an artist and an architect, Mara always believed in the tremendous power of light to transform environments. An exhibit at the Whitney Museum by light artist, James Turrell, was a pivotal inspiration for her work with light. She became a neon artist and instructor at the New York Experimental Glass Workshop, now Urban Glass, and was commissioned to do large scale public art installations, including a Creative Time project to install a 30-foot high cold cathode cable in the anchorage of the Brooklyn Bridge. She later pursued a career in architectural lighting design and a master's degree in architecture at Harvard's Graduate School of Design. Now based in Brookline, Massachusetts, Mara works in other cities including Berlin and New York. She focuses on video mapping projections that can be realized on city streets everywhere.