Illuminate your night at the Light Portal Celebration in Flushing Sunday

The Light Portal illuminates Ederle Terrace with its beautiful LED light display
Photo courtesy of Julia Sinelnikova

Experience the beauty of public art at the Light Portal Celebration this Sunday, June 30, in Flushing, where vibrant installations will illuminate the night and transform the cityscape.

The event will run from 6-11 p.m. at Ederle Terrace, by the Queens Museum, and will feature unique projections, poetry readings and a vibrant light show.

Julia Sinelnikova, who goes by the artist name “The Oracle,”  is the creator of the Light Portal. Sinelnikova explained that they hoped the event would invoke feelings of wonder and amusement in the audience. “It’s on a peaceful meadow overlooking the lake. So, just emphasizing that and giving people a sense of wondrous play that they wouldn’t expect at a place like that. It is a popular place to run in the morning and sunset, and it has a community vibe”, Sinelnikova said. 

Sinelnikova explained that they like watching people interact with the installation and “have a sense of wonder.” 

“When you look at people approaching it from afar, the people just project what they want it to be, like they might touch it, they might sit under it,” they said. 

Sinelnikova shared that the event will showcase a unique activation of the piece for audience members to enjoy. Locals can expect animated video visuals and a light bath during the sunset, complete with illuminations from an LED rig located inside the sculpture. Additionally, fellow artist colleagues, including Tivali, a prominent local DJ and poet, will read poems for audience members.  

“Both the event and the piece at this moment are really about celebrating this sense of freedom and diversity that we have in our city in this extremely chaotic time, where I think a lot of us are searching for answers, like how we can help the world and help our city survive all of its struggles,” said Sinelnikova.

The Light Portal was commissioned in partnership with the NYC Parks Department and the Alliance for Flushing Meadows Corona Park and unveiled to the public in November 2023. Sinelnikova was inspired to create the sculpture because they felt there was a lack of contemporary art that paid homage to the legendary Tent of Tomorrow, designed by Phillip Jonson for the 1964 World Fair, which took place at the legendary park and event space. 

The Light Portal incorporates many elements of the design of the  New York State Pavilion, also known as the Tent of Tomorrow, through an array of colors and light discs that suspend above audiences to represent the diversity of languages and cultures throughout the borough. 

Sinelnikova also shared that they drew inspiration from mandala designs derived from various cultures after incorporating them in a public health-inspired piece for Broward Park, located in Brooklyn. “They’re in ancient cultures… There is a sacred geometry mandala, and so many different kinds have been used for healing, magic and rituals,” Sinelnikova said. “That’s why I built the circle shape [for the Light Portal]. It’s kind of like my own healing mandala. It uses a lot of triangles and blue, pink and yellow colors,” they added.

The Light Portal exhibition is made possible by the Art in the Parks: Alliance for Flushing Meadows Corona Park Grant, which supports the creation of site-specific public artworks by Queens-based artists for two sites within Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Residents are invited to head to Ederle Terrace for the Light Portal Celebration. Photo courtesy of Julia Sinelnikova