by ELLA TODD '21
If you visited downtown Cincinnati during the second weekend in October, you were most likely greeted by crowds and colorful light displays. If you tried to eat at a restaurant, you probably had to wait in line along with the other people trying to view the spectacular art exhibits. Why? Blink was back in Cincinnati.
Blink is an art, light, and projection event that spanned 30 blocks of downtown Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky from October 10-13, 2019. It included murals, sculptures, projections, interactive exhibits, and more designed by both local and international artists. There were also scattered parades and concerts throughout the two states, including a performance by alternative rock band Grouplove. Those who attended Blink traveled either by foot or the streetcar, and the projections could be seen easily from both.
These installations were sprinkled throughout the city, but there was no specific path to follow. With 21 light projections as well as other displays, it was nearly impossible to view everything Blink had to offer on a single night.
The John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, SkyStar wheel, and Fountain Square were just some of the most popular sights in Cincinnati that participated. Blink’s only ticketed event was “Dodecalis” and those who attended could walk through the connected, geometric domes to view the neon lights that lined the walls. Another interesting installation this year at Blink was the world’s largest mobile disco ball, which was displayed in Covington.
This was not the first year that Blink has illuminated Cincinnati. It is estimated that more than one million people attended Blink when it first debuted in 2017. Blink cost about $3.6 million to organize in 2019 and was coordinated by local agencies Brave Berlin, AGAR, and ArtWorks but also has many other sponsors. The philanthropy of these many companies and individuals who donated to Blink made it possible for the event to be free. There was an option for a VIP package for $350 which allowed members access to dedicated viewing areas, food and drink tickets, Blink-related goods, and other add-ons.
The purpose of Blink is to showcase Cincinnati as a growing and futuristic city as well as to celebrate the city and its inhabitants. I would recommend everyone attend Blink when it returns both to view the extraordinary art and explore downtown. It is a great way to experience our colorful city with friends or family while also celebrating local artists. It truly brings the community together and personally made me appreciate Cincinnati for its architecture, creativity, and people.