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Silent Light Fest Turns WAMA Into an Illuminated Art Wonderland

There will be twinkles and glints from holiday light displays dazzling and illuminating the Magnolia State this holiday season, including an event at the Walter Anderson Museum of Art in downtown Ocean Springs.

For the second year in a row, the museum that inspires discovery, imagination, and community-building will be transformed into a luminous and radiant wonderland with energy that’s inspired by nature and the winter solstice with its annual Silent Light Festival.

The one-night-only event will feature illuminated artists, dazzling street performers, and graceful shadow dancers, installations by Mississippi artists, a silent disco with DJs performing to your personal LED-equipped wireless headphones, and interactive light shows projecting animations of Walter Anderson’s timeless designs.

Walter Anderson Museum of Art Executive Director Julian Rankin said Silent Light was developed as both a benefit for the museum and a gift to the community. The holiday event will use light as an innovative and nondestructive medium to express creativity in relation to the coastal landscape.

“People love lights during the winter season and you know there are many Christmas lights and all kinds of ways to enjoy that,” Rankin said. “For us and having Walter Anderson be so inspired by nature, we wanted to take our own approach to it. So, when folks come and see our lights, they will be a little bit different, have that nature theme, and Walter Anderson inspiration.”

He added that about 500 people attended the inaugural event in 2021 and the museum is expecting a similar turnout this year.

Featured performers will include music by Brooks Hubbard and DJ Logic, as well as various illuminated dancers and street performers. The featured art will include light installations led by Colin McQuilkin Design, which includes a team of animators, projectionists, and designers who will be transforming the campus through light installations inspired by Walter Anderson and the dynamism of the coast.

Rankin said there will be a few new illustrating surprises this year with exquisite sculptures, popular performers, and interactive displays that are participatory installations and will allow the public to control some of the animated projections.

The event is set for 6-10 p.m. on December 3. It’s a free light festival. Headphone rentals will be  $10 each. Food and drink vendors will be on site.


Written by Cherie Ward

Cherie Ward is an award-winning Mississippi Gulf Coast journalist with decades of experience in writing and photography. She lives in Ocean Springs with her husband and has two adult children who also live on the Coast.

Connect with her by email at [email protected] with story ideas or find her @cherieward on Instagram. She would love to hear from you.


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