Aurora at One Arts Plaza and JM Gallery was a HUGE success!

AURORA-Powered by Reliant drew record-breaking crowds to One Arts Plaza and JM Gallery. The plaza hosted a phenomenal light installation as part of the Dallas AURORA lights festival co-founded in 2013 by local artists Shane Pennington and Joshua King. An estimated 50 thousand people strolled through the Dallas Arts District, awestruck by the expansive light, sound, performance and new media event that stretched across the 68-acre district from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. October 16, 2015.

Istanbul artist, Memo Akten’s installation known as Simple Harmonic Motion was housed in One Arts Plaza, garnering the attention of passersby and guests dining on the patios of Tei An, Jorge’s Tex Mex Café, and Proof + Pantry. The vivid light beams perfectly outlining the perimeter of the plaza’s fountains, shot straight up into the sky overlapping each other as they met in the moonlight. The dramatic music, a collection of simple, multilayered rhythms accompanied the neon blue lights. Viewers were encouraged to play with the lights, waving their hands and arms to create movement in the installation and disrupt the stiff pattern of the lasers.

One Arts Plaza hosted a “Be Social” contest for viewers inspired by the brilliant installation with four gift cards up for grabs, one to each One Arts Plaza restaurant. The four winners were chosen for their photos of Simple Harmonic Motion uploaded to their Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts using the hashtags #OneArtsMemo and #ArtAtOneArts and tagging @OneArtsPlaza.

Just a few feet away, JM Gallery hosted an award reception for its current juried exhibition, “Illumination,” which features 36 pieces crafted by members of the Texas Sculpture Association. A panel of three expert judges including Jed Morse (Chief Curator of Nasher Sculpture Center), Gail Sachson (Art & Seek and Ask Me About Art) and Mark LaRoe (prolific collector and Managing Director at Deutsche Bank) each selected 12 works submitted by dozens of artists, making the exhibition an eclectic collection ranging from contemporary abstract designs to antique masterpieces engineered from repurposed materials.

The reception drew dozens of art aficionados wanting to meet the artists behind the sculptures on display at JM Gallery. Gallery director Chris Heinlen announced the winning pieces unanimously chosen by the jurors with Octopus Hand by Robertus Van der Wage taking Honorable Mention, Agreements by Rebecca Boatman receiving Runner Up, and Jim Bowman’s Eschatology of Radiology welcoming Best in Show.

JM Gallery Owner Michael Heinlen congratulated all the winners, and with Red Zingari in hand, the artists continued to mingle with guests and friends, explaining the inspiration and vision behind each piece. By the end of the evening, three works had been sold, and a few conversations leading to solo exhibitions were all abuzz.

“Illumination” will be on display now through October 31. All works are available for purchase and can be viewed five days a week. The gallery is open Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

People observe Akten's mesmerizing installation. 

Akten's Simple Harmonic Motion lit up the entire plaza. 

Terri and Jim Mace stand beside his piece. 

Terry and Jill Nonnemacher observe the beautiful sculptures.