Torggler Debuts With Captivating 'Night Light' Exhibition - Christopher Newport University


black and white image of looking up at a shylight installation silk light shade in the open position

Torggler Debuts With Captivating 'Night Light' Exhibition

Opening showcases interactive art by internationally known artists.

Above: Drift, 'Shylight,' Rijksmuseum, 2014 (courtesy of the artist)

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The Mary M. Torggler Fine Arts Center opens to the public with an exhilarating display of artwork that explores nature through the lens of technology and the innovative use of light. The exhibition, titled Night Light, will be on display beginning with the Torggler’s grand opening at 1 p.m. on Sunday, October 31, and will continue through May 15, 2022.

There is no admission charge and no tickets are necessary to experience Night Light and other exhibits at the Torggler.

The Night Light exhibition features enthralling interactive work by five contemporary artists and artist collectives:

  • DRIFT, hailing from Amsterdam
  • Simon Heijdens, based in London
  • Joanie Lemercier from Brussels
  • Michal Rovner of Israel
  • Quayola, located in Rome

Works by these artists have been presented in museums throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Art Institute of Chicago and many others.

“The Torggler is dedicated to bringing exceptional visual art to our community and enriching our cultural landscape. Our inaugural exhibitions will inspire and engage visitors of diverse ages and backgrounds,” said Holly Koons, the Torggler’s executive director. “The adventure begins the moment you enter the Torggler’s rotunda to experience Shylight, a mesmerizing site-specific work by the artist collective DRIFT. A choreographed series of silk sculptures that mimics the movement of flowers, this dazzling work sets the stage for the wonders that await as you move through the galleries.”

The Night Light exhibition will be presented in the Torggler’s expansive Anne Noland Edwards gallery, which will house major exhibitions by professional artists with national and international reputations. Night Light is curated by Superblue in collaboration with the Torggler.

“We’re thrilled to be working with the Torggler on its first exhibition,” said Margot Mottaz, associate curator at Superblue. “Superblue shares in its mission to reach broad audiences with beautiful and thought-provoking art, and we look forward to advancing the appreciation of experiential art in this institutional context.”

Superblue is a groundbreaking new enterprise dedicated to producing, presenting and engaging the public with experiential artwork that is typically site-specific, kinetic, interactive or immersive – offering opportunities for audiences to experience visual art in a novel, compelling way.

“We all find comfort in the glow of light in the darkness, illuminating what is otherwise not visible,” Mottaz said. “Night Light brings together the works of five artists who manipulate light and shadow to capture, reveal and re-interpret patterns and behaviors found in nature that often go unnoticed until made to be seen. The exhibition takes visitors from land to sky and back, in each moment inviting us to pay closer attention to the world that surrounds us: how plants grow and sway in the wind, how forests look under the surface, how birds swarm under threat, how jackals watch over their territory, how storms brew above mountain tops. The stillness of the night finds itself illuminated by the light inherent to the artworks.”

In addition to the Night Light exhibition, exciting work will also be on display in the Torggler’s other public galleries:

  • The William M. Grace Community Gallery will present Nocturne, featuring work exploring the intersection of darkness and light, created by artists in the Hampton Roads region.
  • The Academic Gallery, dedicated to the work of students, faculty and alumni, will present the ArtCNU Alumni Invitational, celebrating the talent and creativity of Christopher Newport’s alumni as well as the legacy of the university’s fine art program.
  • The Microgallery will present What It Means to Be a Fox, an immersive installation by Christopher Newport alumnus and adjunct professor Ryan Lytle ‘15, known for his large-scale felted sculptures and bold, highly patterned environments.

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