NOON | GEORGE BIRELINE | 1993 | RALEIGH | 1923-2002
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Festival Highlights





Amococo by Architects of Air

City Plaza, 400 Block of Fayetteville Street

Thursday & Friday, May 19 & 20:  1:00pm - 7:00pm

Saturday & Sunday, May 21 & 22:  11:00am - 7:00pm


Admission:  $5 per person (Children 3 and under admitted free.)

Tickets will be available at the luminarium entrance on City Plaza during opening hours only.


Please note: 

- The last admission time is 6:40pm each day, 20 minutes prior to closing.

- Amococo is accessible to wheelchair users and people with mobility difficulties.

- Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult, with a minimum of 1 adult per 4 children.

- Shoes must be left at the luminarium entrance, at the owner's risk.

- Food and drink are not permitted inside the luminarium.


Amococo is a large scale, inflatable sculpture constructed of translucent vinyl and made up of labyrinthine tunnels and inspiring spacious domes.  A sensual world of liquid light and color, it is a multi-sensory space that welcomes, inspires and affects everyone who enters.  Amococo will be the third luminarium from Architects of Air to be exhibited in Raleigh.  Levity III was presented in August 2008 at "Art on the Edge," and Mirazozo had its world premier at Artsplosure 2010.


Amococo is the most labyrinthine luminarium in Architects of Air's collection, featuring as it does 86 triaxial domes and 71 pods that together create a complex of pathways where the visitors may happily lose themselves.  Built in 2008, Amococo’s common visual motif is the 'oculus' – an ovoid window that allows light to gently diffuse into the domes. This is most strikingly effective in the cupola of the central dome where the ceiling resonates with iridescent rainbow hues.


Under the direction of Alan Parkinson, Architects of Air is based in Nottingham, England.  Over the past two decades, Parkinson has designed and constructed 15 luminaria which have toured the globe, being experienced by audiences at over 500 exhibitions in 37 countries.  He first started experimenting with pneumatic sculptures in the 1980s and has since developed his own language of form in this plastic medium. In 1992 he established the company Architects of Air to build and tour his luminarium designs.


Parkinson describes his intention as an 'Architect of Air' in the following terms:


"What motivates me to design is the fact that I continue to be struck by the beauty of light and colour found in the luminaria. These structures nurture an awareness of a pure phenomenon that gently cuts through everyday conditioned perceptions and awakens a sense of wonder in people."


The pneumatic form has a simple purity that echoes that of the light it contains. It has been Parkinson's work to explore what is possible within the laws of pneumatics to develop an architectural aesthetic capable of doing justice to the beauty of the light in the luminarium.


Artsplosure Community Nest

Moore Square Park

Saturday & Sunday, 11:00am - 6:00pm


Massachusetts artist Pam Golden will lead this interactive community art project during Artsplosure 2011.  Using one of the large oak trees in Moore Square, a huge nest will be constructed on site out of sticks and bamboo that will encircle the tree.  This "warp and weft" sculpture will invite festival-goers to weave ribbons and yarn with blessings and dreams into the sculpture during the event.


Families will be invited to create simple people and animals with sticks and yarn that can also be woven into the nest.  Perched atop the sculpture will be a bird created by the artist with wings outstretched to becon visitors to come and see and interact and make beauty!


Pam Golden is a professional artist and educator.  Her sculpture and site-specific art installations and environmental art works have been exhibited both nationally and throughout New England, including First Night Boston, the Fuller Art Museum, and the Art Complex Museum.  Pam's work has been included in several publications and in two books on art and healing.  Since 1988, Pam has been the Art Director at the Inly School, a Montessori-based co-educational day school serving 260 students from toddler to middle school, in Scituate, MA.


Artsplosure Student Art Exhibition

Zanzibar Room, Marbles Kids Museum

Saturday, 11:00am - 5:00pm

Sunday, 12:00pm - 5:00pm



The Artsplosure Student Art Exhibition is a juried visual art competition, allowing students enrolled in Wake County Middle Schools and High Schools to show off their artistic talent while competing for a total of $500 in cash prizes.  Over 120 pieces of art, selected from over 300 student entries from two dozen schools, will be exhibited at Artsplosure.


Everybody Dance!

Marbles Kids Museum, Main Courtyard

Saturday & Sunday, 11:00am - 5:00pm


Enjoy dancing outdoors, on the Marbles Main Courtyard!  Featuring parent/child dancing, artistic dance performances and participatory dance from dance companies from around the region.


Please note:  The Student Art Exhibition and activities in the Main Courtyard are free and open to the public.  Regular admission applies to the Museum and IMAX Theatre.


Sandy Feat


Watch Ed Moore and his team turn tons of sand into a work of art.  He has taught sand sculpture classes at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores; won numerous sand sculpture contests at Virginia Beach, Atlantic Beach, Wrightsville Beach and Atlanta; participated in the World Championships in British Columbia; and sculpted with master sand sculptors from Florida to California.  Ed has been a sculptor most of his life. Working in clay, wood and metal, he developed a love and talent for three-dimensional art.  Those interests expanded through his youth and turned into a career in architecture.   He is now an owner of Moore + Burton Architects, PA in Raleigh, NC.




Challenge others to a game of life-size chess! Enjoy playing chess in a way that has become synonymous with Artsplosure. For most of the past decade, Artsplosure audiences have enjoyed this oversized version of a classic board game, a creation by Lyle Estill from Moncure, NC.


Members of Chess Achieves will be on hand all weekend.  Been a while since you've played a game of chess?  They'll be happy to lend a hand!  Chess Achieves is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization that advances community and economic development goals, and works to fill the overall need for capitalization of chess organizers, teachers, and events in this sector. They serve as an educational resource; working to teach youth chess, train chess educators, and host competitive chess events.

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