Emil Lukas hopes his installation “Little Lights” will continue to move people long after the festival is over. It does, after all, have wheels.
Anchored to the roof of the Easton Area Community Center, Little Lights is a small mountain range of bicycles covered in strong opaque plastic, painted and illuminated by tiny solar-charged lights. The center, on Washington Street near the intersection with S. 9th Street in Easton’s West Ward, runs after school programs for neighboring children.
When the festival is over, Lukas intends for the bicycles to be used by the kids at the community center for bike safety classes, bike repair courses and rides. “I want to start a bicycling program for the children of the neighborhood and the community center that other people will join in for alternative transportation,” Lukas says. Part of the inspiration for the work came from his son Jack, who has volunteered with community bike programs and has “embraced cycling as transportation.”
“The artwork is just a temporary symbol but the actual bikes are dormant inside,” Lukas says. “I’m hoping the public awareness builds the program.”
For the duration of the arts festival, Little Lights is designed to make the center’s facade more beautiful. “I want the front of the building to be vibrant,” Lukas says.
Lukas, of Stockertown, has had exhibitions at museums and galleries throughout the United States and abroad. In New York City, he is represented by the Sperone Westwater Gallery, where he had a solo exhibition in February. Another of his shows opens May 21 at the Hosfelt Gallery in San Francisco. Most of his work is in painting and sculptures.
“This is a new experiment for me,” Lukas says. “I’ve never built anything out of bicycles before.”
He received his bachelor’s of fine arts degree from Edinboro University in Edinboro, Pa.
Find Little Lights at map location 4