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Anderson Indiana Re-Lights Historical Crystal Arch - 2011
Last Updated: 08/24/2011

June 21, 2011



Tammy Bowman

Director of Public and Media Relations

City of Anderson                                                      




Crystal Arch RE-Lighting took place Thursday night, June 16th

(ANDERSON, IN) – On Thursday, June 16, the public art installation known as “The Crystal Arch Project” was re-light and re-dedicated by City of Anderson officials, volunteers, artists, and community members.  Well over 100 community spectators took part in the festivities.

 The Crystal Arch is a 12-foot tall, 36-foot long glittering glass and steel helix containing 360 hand blown crystal "time capsules." Originally installed with fiber optics, which beautifully illuminated the Crystal Arch from within, over time, the fibers darkened from exposure to extreme heat.  This community inspired and locally fabricated piece of art has now been retrofitted with LED lighting after seven years of total darkness. 

The project to retrofit the Crystal Arch with LED lighting was undertaken by a small group of volunteers, which took advantage of innovations in lighting technology to replace the fiber optics with a more environmentally friendly, cost effective and longer lasting LED (Light Emitting Diode) system. LED lighting is unique in that it does not overheat as traditional incandescent bulbs may. The new LED lighting system will fill the Crystal Arch with red, green, and blue light, blended to illuminate every color of the spectrum, particularly red, blue, green, purple, yellow, teal, and white [supplied by: www.CreativeLightings.com].

Volunteer labor, in-kind donations of equipment and technical expertise, and at-cost materials allowed the lighting retrofit to be purchased and installed at a cost of less than $4000, which was funded by the Urban Enterprise Association in November 2010 after the volunteer group demonstrated the lighting effects to the Association Board and Crystal Arch artists.

The Crystal Arch was designed with the stated mission, “to recognize, illuminate, and express the value of our community for the benefit of all people.”

Designed by local artists Arlon Bayliss and Jason Knapp, the Crystal Arch was originally dedicated and lighted in 2001.  Bayliss and Knapp began the project in 1996 after accepting a challenge from the Anderson Urban Enterprise Association to create a piece of public art that represents Anderson’s cultural heritage and diversity in our community as well as epitomizing a collaborative effort between community businesses and local artisans. 

During the original installation of the Crystal Arch, Bayliss said, “The Crystal Arch is a symbol of the good things about this community. It’s a symbol of what this community is able to do.”

On the occasion of the relighting, Bayliss noted that the only artist signature included in the artwork are two crystals installed in the first and final positions of the helix, inscribed by himself and Knapp and reading “from your hands…” and “…to our hands”.  Bayliss explained that these words were used frequently during the period of the original installation to signify to the community that while there were two primary authors of the piece, the finished product was the result of large-scale community collaboration, and ultimately belonged to the community itself. 

Mayor Kris Ockomon invited all members of the community to come to the relighting of the Crystal Arch to take in what has been described as a “Night in Full Color”; “The Crystal Arch will shine brightly again.  There will be more color, brighter light, and a new generation of people who will come to know that public art belongs to all people of this City, and is ours to care for and to enjoy.” 

Ockomon continued, “How fitting that a community with a proud history in lighting innovation should have, at its heart, a locally created artwork that features a state of the art lighting system.  Thursday, June 16th will be a community night as we gather together to celebrate the relighting of the Crystal Arch and rededicate ourselves to its mission.” 

 The event began with a Public Reception in the lobby of the City Hall (120 E. 8th St.), beginning at 8:30. The reception included local artists Yukon Fox, Levi Rinker, Laree Blazer, Max Hains, Ballet Folklorico and United Way introducing their Mentorship Initiative.

  • Yukon Fox [Bio:] Integrating raw passion, working class honesty, and channeling vast arrays of musical influences, Yukon Fox brings a fresh dynamic and original sound to the independent rock world. Featured members Grant Gorman, and Caryn Creviston shared selections from their self-titled debut.
  • Also local Artists Levi Rinker and partner Laree Blazer with The Walking Man Project, displayed 10’ Mirror Walking Man during the reception and a Green wood Walking Man on the lawn. 
  • Max Hains, president of MoFab Inc., who oversaw steel fabrication of the Crystal Arch was present with original crystal mold as well as a crystal you could touch.
  • United Way debuted its Youth Mentorship Initiative with an installation of figures and an opportunity to commit to mentor a young person in the community for a period of at least one academic year. Nine mentors committed to building a relationship with a young person in the community that night.
  • Ballet Folklorico performed two songs before and during the RE-Lighting of the Crystal Arch.
As Community members spread blankets and gathered around the Arch on the lawn, they witness this historic relighting with their neighbors and friends. Ballet Folklorico girls twirled their dresses and the lad tipped his hat & stomped his boots as Mayor Ockomon led the community count down, “THREE…. TWO…ONE.” The lights of the Crystal Arch RE-Illuminated the Anderson night sky.  Yukon Fox then sang their last song  ‘Big Full Moon’ under the arch as the lights glittered and changed colors.  Community members took part in the lighting as they walked, awed and touched the Crystal Arch fully light!

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