Thursday, April 18, 2024

The Blink Light Experience Returns to Cincinnati

Blink returned to Cincinnati October 13-16, 2022. The third installment of the event drew record-breaking attendance of over 2 million attendees over the four-day event that spanned over the 30-blocks of immersive art experiences.

Touting itself as “the nation’s largest light, art and projection-mapping experience,” the streets and structures of Greater Cincinnati were transformed by Blink. New art murals, a drone show, light installations, interactive sculptures, performance art, live entertainment and projection mapping across downtown buildings and structures lit up the city.

Blink Light Experience Cincinnati
Photo Credit: Bryan Busovicki/The Travel Addict

Our Travel Addict correspondent Bryan Busovicki was onsite to photograph all the festivities and art displays that took over the downtown Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky streets.

Prior to attending the event, he studied the maps of exhibits and the timeline of activities to plan out the ultimate three-day walkabout of the entire Blink experience. It is important to study the maps to understand where to strategically park to cover different zones of the event. Busovicki still logged over 17,000 steps and 8 miles of walking each day so always remember to wear comfortable shoes when visiting Blink.

On the first day he decided to cover the kickoff parade, fountain square exhibits in the downtown zone and the drone show on the Kentucky side of the river. After a delay with the drone show, he wrapped up the night and headed home since the activations shutdown at 11 PM each night.

On Day 2, Busovicki parked in Cincinnati and covered the Findley Market Zone, the Over the Rhine Zone including the Luminarium exhibit. On Saturday (the third day of the event) he spent time enjoying the art in the Covington Zone and went back to the Banks Zone.

Blink kicked off on Thursday evening October 13th with the illuminated parade of 85 different artists and organizations making their way down a parade route along Fifth Street from Broadway to Elm Street. The glowing procession was called “Together: a constellation of shared cultures and unique identities.”

Blink Light Experience Cincinnati
Photo Credit: Bryan Busovicki/The Travel Addict

This year Blink had an addition of a 10-minute drone show by Covington-based Durham Studio that is set to take place every night of the festival at Smale Riverfront Park. 300 drones took to the sky to display 3D art, animation and lighting. The drone show was best viewed from the Kentucky side of the festival to see the drones with a backdrop of the Cincinnati skyline.

One of the coolest drone formations was the “Blink Eye” logo with the Cincinnati skyline in the background.

Blink Light Experience Cincinnati
Photo Credit: Bryan Busovicki/The Travel Addict

Some of the Travel Addict Blink 2022 Highlights included:

“In the Middle” at Mother of God Catholic Church – 23 W. Court St., Downtown
Italian artist Antaless Visual Design designed the projection mapping onto the historic Italian Renaissance-style structure, completed in 1871. Antaless Visual Design is one of the best projection mapping artists in all of Europe — and the world.

“Euthenia”Liberty and Race Street, Downtown Cincinnati

This mural and light projection was designed by Insane 51 and goDutch during BLINK 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

“To the Moon” at The American Building – 30 E. Central Parkway, Downtown Cincinnati
This is the tallest projection mapping project BLINK has undertaken. Artist, animator and designer Sean Van Praag, who has previously illuminated the exterior of Memorial Hall for past BLINK events lead the effort to turn this Art Deco downtown condo building into a beacon of light. 

Photo Credit: Bryan Busovicki/The Travel Addict

Best Light Sculptures

The entire Banks Zone provided the best light sculptures and was the favorite place to photograph the sculpture interactions with cityscapes.

“TOROID” by This Is Loop – Freedom Way, The Banks
U.K.-based art group This Is Loop brought “TOROID” to BLINK. According to the group’s website, the work is a “a large-scale immersive audio visual installation exploring perspectives of visual and auditory perception and presents a physical framework for the consideration of light, space and time and their interdependence and interaction with spatial perception.”

Blink Light Experience Cincinnati
Photo Credit: Bryan Busovicki/The Travel Addict


“Together”Smale Park

This hear-shaped sculture of hands with a  light projection was built by OGE Design Group and ISH at Blink 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. This art piece created some of the most visually stunning photographs when frames with the Roebling Bridge in the center of the heart.

Blink Light Experience Cincinnati
Photo Credit: Bryan Busovicki/The Travel Addict

“Parastella”The Banks Zone

Parastella was an interactive art piece by Christopher Schardt at BLINK. People were encouraged to lay down on the ground and look up to see the full effect of the art piece against the night sky.

Blink Light Experience Cincinnati
Photo Credit: Bryan Busovicki/The Travel Addict

Entertainment and Food Options

Many downtown restaurants welcomed Blink attendees and had Blink-themed dining options including the Asianati Night Market. The Night Market was an Art & Light Installation where people could fully immerse themselves in Asia’s beautiful lights, smells and flavors. From China to Thailand to Malaysia and more, the Asianati Night Market had food from more than eight countries.

On the Kentucky side, Braxton Brewing in the seventh street alcove in Covington featured the Lumen Lounge, a large, inflatable light-up bar experience. 

Photo Courtesy of Braxton Brewing Company

There was a “glow garden” on the Braxton rooftop with thousands of lights. It offered great views of Mother of God Church and Hotel Covington’s light installations. Braxton Brewing even offered a specialty beer for the event: a hibiscus-colored, fruited sour served in a special BLINK light-up cup.

Coppin’s Restaurant & Bar, located at Hotel Covington had a mobile bar on the lawn for BLINK. The mobile bar offered canned beer and wine, LED sunglasses, and glow sticks.  Additionally, Del Gardo’s Cannoli is making special cannoli for BLINK. 

The Standard Covington offered the Lit Lemonade cocktail. It is made of Deep Eddy Vodka, fresh lemonade, cotton candy, and light-up ice cubes. They also offered a Glow-jito, which is made of coconut rum, mint simple syrup, lime juice, soda, and blue curacao. 

Blink 2022 was a huge success for local businesses and for the Greater Cincinnati community and we can’t wait to see what the next installation holds.

Photo Credit: Bryan Busovicki/The Travel Addict

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Amy Harris
Amy Harris is a writer and photographer who has been traveling for 20 years and flown over 2 million miles to visit over 80 countries on 6 continents. She is a freelance photographer for Invision by Associated Press, AP Images and Rex/Shutterstock. Her work can be seen in various publications and websites including: Rolling Stone, AP Images, National Geographic Books, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Forbes.com, Lonely Planet Travel Guides, JetStar magazine, and Delta Sky Magazine.

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