New Public Art Installation Lights Up Downtown Arlington

With each of the four towers standing four stories tall, Flamme d' Illuminacion is Downtown Arlington's newest public art destination.

The City of Arlington selected artist Michelle O'Michael to create the sculptures as part of the transformative Abram Street revitalization project. Installed early this year, Flamme d' Illuminacion straddles Abram St. between City Hall and Levitt Pavilion Arlington. At night, the silver towers are illuminated by programmable LED lights that can remain static, color sweep or flicker like flames. Experiencing the artwork -- especially at night -- can be quite dramatic, and coupled with the nearby lawn and new pedestrian amenities along Abram Street, the entire space is already becoming a favorite community gathering place and selfie spot.

“What I was working toward with the towers was for them to be cohesive with what was there and to stand out at the same time,” artist Michelle O'Michael said. “If you sit there and look at them in the daytime, from a different viewpoints all the crossing points line up to form X’s, at some points, you can see swirls, and from other vantages they look like infinity signs. They have a presence and there is an element of intrigue.”

O’Michael affectionately refers to the four towers of Flamme d’ Illuminacion as the daughters to a smaller, 12-foot lighted sculpture she created years ago that is known as Flame d’ Espoire. The scale of the four towers presented some new challenges for the Texas artist, who had to rent an industrial fabrication space instead of using her Houston studio. The project took just over a year to complete, due to delays related to the coronavirus pandemic, she said.

“I think that they are really going to be a huge draw. You can bring your picnic and sit in the park at night and be with the lights. It’s peaceful and meditative,” O’Michael said. “I want people to have some beauty and place of comfort and a pleasant thing to look at.”
 

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Designated by the State of Texas as the Arlington Cultural District, Downtown Arlington is where creativity, authenticity, and hometown pride thrive and drive what's next. Within its less than a two-mile radius, Downtown is home to a top tier public research university, prolific visual and performing artists and arts institutions, live entertainment, exciting NCAA and professional athletics, one-of-a-kind dining and retail, and a supportive business climate.  Stay in the know by subscribing to our e-newsletter and by following us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.
 

Shared in partnership with the City of Arlington. Video and photo provided by the City of Arlington.