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Looking to light up your lives?

Houstonians now have the chance thanks to a new art group show illuminating the halls of Houston’s Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) with neon and plasma.


Admission is free to “Light Charmer: Neon and Plasma in Action,” described on the HCCC website as a throwback to the neon-saturated era of the 1980s.

The show opened with a Friday night reception, featuring a performance in the style of a lightsaber battle between the forces of good and evil – a surrealist art exhibit titled “Treachery of the Material,” offering a glimpse into the studios of the current artists in residence.

An interactive tour on Saturday gave viewers the chance to go through the exhibits with the curator, and ask the artists questions about their work.

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“In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in the aesthetic of neon art and signage. However, few people realize the level of hand skill and scientific knowledge that it requires,” HCCC Curator Kathryn Hall provided in a release. “Through experimentation…and the interplay of light and sound, these artists demonstrate new and exciting potential for a material that has been in a state of commercial decline.”

The piece “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair” evokes the old-school comic book imagery of Lichtenstein’s pop art pieces and adds a dash of the femme fatale, leaving the viewer to wonder if the red lines on her body are blood or hair dye.

Other pieces respond to the viewer’s touch, a few used in conjunction with choreographed performance, as in James Akers and Lily Reeves’ “Neon Sword Fight,” where the two wield blades of red and blue plasma against one another.

You can experience these cultural light experiences at HCCC through May 13.

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