West Austin’s new interactive light display dazzles for limited time

July 13th, 2021

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By Katie Friel Nov 16, 2020, 4:22 pm

A new light display promises to dazzle West Austin — but only for a limited time. BuzzFest is Bee Cave’s newest event (get it — buzz? Bee Cave?) is switching on its inaugural winter light festival December 17-19.

This free public art event, presented by Bee Cave Arts Foundation and hosted at Hill Country Galleria, incorporates light, design, sound, and technology for a special interactive display. Six different installations have been selected to interpret this year’s theme, Ocean of Bioluminescence, which is “inspired by the glowing creatures found in the depths of the ocean’s twilight zone.”

Participating artists are a mix of both local and national creatives, including Jordan Remar, Takuma Katagiri, dadaLab, Mind Works, Johnny Walker, Emmett Palaima, Journey Jolley, Matt Smith, and Dalton’s Light. The six pieces include augmented reality artworks, interactive exhibits, and digital light installations.

Patrons can take a self-guided tour through the festival using a map or the BuzzFest app. 

Those looking to fully embrace the interactive part of the festival can become glowing ocean creatures themselves. Snag a bioluminescence kit containing a glow-in-the-dark mask and light-up bracelet and necklace with a donation to the Bee Cave Arts Foundation.

And make sure to join the other festivalgoers at Hill Country Galleria’s Central Plaza each day at 7 pm and 8:30 pm for a truly transporting experience. Listen to original musical scores, watch glittering light shows, and see performers in illuminated costumes as they bring the deep sea to landlocked West Austin. Each performance is 20 minutes and will feature a live DJ set in between. 

“The Bee Cave Arts Foundation is excited to transform the Hill Country Galleria into a magical winter light fest,” said Ashley Cobb, president of the Bee Cave Arts Foundation, in a release. “There will be plenty of space for visitors to socially distance, safely explore the festival and enjoy the many other holiday festivities and shopping offered.”

As mentioned, this event is free and open to the public, but donations to the nonprofit Bee Cave Arts Foundation are welcome.