Once they turned it on, they knew they couldn’t turn it off.
But, it was cold and rained the night city officials and LexArts personnel had scheduled the official lighting of Origins, Christopher Weed’s public art project at the bridge on Oliver Lewis Way earlier this month.
Still, investors and other stakeholders had gathered in the Distillery District that night and wanted to see what the final product looked like. So, the six “barrels” filled with glowing balls were illuminated on the bridge between Main and Maxwell streets and it has remained lit all month.
But the biggest public art project commissioned by the city warrants a celebration, and it seems the skies will miraculously part Friday night to let Origins get its proper welcome.
Weed, whose project was selected from more than 100 proposals, says he was inspired by the history of the area around the bridge, specifically the Distillery District, at one time a center of bourbon whiskey production in Kentucky. The lit sculptures are meant to echo the firing of bourbon barrels to char the interiors.
Each of the sculptures weighs around half a ton, and the lighting is computer controlled, though they are primarily set to automatically illuminate sunset to sunrise.
The project was originally set to be unveiled last fall during Breeders’ Cup Festivities, but there were a few setbacks that knocked the date back to the spring. But now that it’s installed and lit, Weed and others say it will stay that way.
“It will be here as long as the bridge is here,” Weed said. “The materials are meant to last indefinitely.”
If you go
What: Official lighting of the public art sculpture Origins by Christopher Weed followed by fireworks.
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: Oliver Lewis Way Bridge, between Main and Maxwell streets