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Posted on: January 11, 2019

New Tech High School Part of Lighted Art Festival

Jonus Valenzuela

Light will become art in at the second annual Napa Lighted Arts Festival in a world-class public arts exhibition, occurring January 12-20, 2019. Various displays of projection mapping, interactive lighted installation and community events will light up the night at approximately one dozen sites throughout Downtown Napa and the Oxbow District. Additionally, as part of the Lighted Arts Festival, the City is inviting community to participate in Napa’s first Lantern Parade.

Students and instructors alike at Napa’s New Tech High School have had an integral role in the development of two major elements of the festival. Since the first day of this academic year, they have been integrating studies of light, prototype development, digital art and Adobe design programs into this semester’s curriculum, all in collaboration with the City’s Parks and Recreation Department. The illuminating final results will be enjoyed by the masses.

On display throughout the duration of the festival will be a 70-foot projected animation of the students’ own creation, on the south wall of the Native Sons building at 927 Coombs Street titled Beyond Imagination and is sponsored by Adobe. Students grades 10-12 have been arduously designing original sound and visuals under the mentorship of famed UK-based projection artists Ross Ashton and Karen Monid, whose business The Projection Studio has also been serving as consultant with the City of Napa for the Festival in its entirety. Ashton and Monid has been regularly meeting with the students on Skype during Lisa Gottfried’s classes.

“I am very impressed with the dedication and quality of the work that the students at New Tech have made. They have come up with very interesting ideas for images and audio and have carried these through to create excellent artworks.” Says Ashton, “Napa is the perfect location to show the best of contemporary art and the city can be proud of its student body for being able to contribute so positively to this high-profile event.”

“Whenever class ended while working on this project, there were usually groans all around!” says Gottfried, “The classes have been a quick-moving and creatively driven machine.”

The students will be sharing more during a panel discussion on January 17th at 4:30 pm at First Presbyterian Church (a block away from the installation) about their creative journey and experiences. If you would like to hear more about their collective “behind the scenes” efforts, be sure to attend.   


“It was amazing to be part of something that truly pushed the boundary of what being a New Tech student actually means.” – Austin Larsen, New Tech High School 12th Grade student


Meanwhile in Angelene Warnock’s maker classes, students worked on inventive lantern designs, with the intention of sharing their design templates with the community at-large as hundreds prepare their own lanterns for the upcoming Parade. They are available on the City’s website for the festival at www.cityofnapa.org/lanternparade. Expect to see lanterns that resemble turtles, camels, pop-culture icons and ethereal imagery.

“I had the opportunity to visit a few of the maker classes and am so impressed with the students’ overall initiative and enthusiasm. New Tech faculty and students are so talented!” says Chelsea Ritter-Soronen, Public Arts Coordinator with the City of Napa.

The Lantern Parade will occur on January 18, 2019 and participants are invited to gather in Veteran’s Park starting at 6pm. The group will depart the park at 6:30pm and travel on a 1-mile loop while accompanied by local favorites Cosmos Percussion Band and Pepperettes Baton and Dance Club.

Last but not least, Adobe, one of the festivals sponsors, hosted a “Create-a-thon” at New Tech High School on Monday, January 7.  At this event, over 400 New Tech students and 150 Bel Aire Park Elementary students collaborated on artwork designed on Adobe’s latest programs including Illustrator, After Effects and Spark.

For more information about the upcoming festival, lantern parade, and associated symposium series, please visit http://donapa.com/lights

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