The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts is pleased to announce the five jurors that will select the original works of art for the second annual BGE Light Art Walk, part of Light City, a festival of light, music and innovation. Also announced are the eight neighborhoods selected for Neighborhood Lights, Light City’s immersive community artist-in-residence program.  The neighborhoods for 2017 are Hamilton-Lauraville, Waverly, Sandtown-Winchester, Station North, Coldstream Homestead Montebello, Little Italy, Hampden and Greater Mondawmin. The jurors for the 2017 BGE Light Art Walk are Fletcher Mackey, Ali Momeni, Valerie Cassel Oliver, Brett Phares and Amy Eva Raehse.

The jurors for the BGE Light Art Walk will select 20-30 illuminated visual artworks to be featured for 2017. Central to Light City along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, art installations along the BGE Light Art Walk include but are not limited to large-scale light displays and sculptures, projections and interactive technologies. Selected projects are fully funded between $5,000 and $75,000.

Fletcher Mackey (Baltimore, MD)

Fletcher Mackey currently teaches in the Foundation, Painting and M.A./M.F.A. in Community Arts programs at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD. Prior to coming to Baltimore, he worked extensively in Houston, TX in civic and public art development, and was the cultural program director at Project Row Houses. After receiving his M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts, Mackey has worked in a multi-disciplinary and collaborative approach to art-making.  His work has been featured in dozens of exhibitions both nationally and internationally, including ones at the James E. Lewis Museum of Art (Baltimore, MD), the Museum of Fine Arts (Houston, TX) and the Contemporary Arts Museum (Houston, TX). Additionally, several permanent outdoor installations of his work can be seen throughout Houston.  Mackey has been an Associate Professor at Texas Southern University and a visiting lecturer at Rice University and the Korean National University of Arts in Seoul, South Korea. Most recently he has worked as a participating artist and advisor for the Black Male Identity project in Baltimore City.

Ali Momeni (Pittsburgh, PA)

Ali Momeni is an artist whose work is rooted in the intersection of art, design and technology.  His multimedia installations can primarily be classified as hybrid instruments (performance practice, physical computing, digital fabrication, enactive interfaces, gesture recognition and mapping), expanded theater (mixed reality, performer-centric technologies, performative robotics, real-time multimedia systems) and urban interventions (large-scale outdoor projection, mobility, public space). Momeni currently teaches in the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and directs ArtFab, co-directs CodeLab and teaches in CMU’s IDEATE and Emerging Media programs.  In 2013, Momeni received a Creative Capital grant to found the Center for Urban Interventionist Research, an interdisciplinary hub for theoretical and practical investigation of urban intervention and transformation strategies that aims to support interventions whose concerns range from artistic creation and community engagement to political activism and public safety. Prior to his tenure at CMU, Momeni was an assistant director in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, where he directed the Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Art, and founded the urban projection collective called the MAW.   Born in Isfahan, Iran, Momeni immigrated to the United States at the age of twelve. He studied physics and music at Swathmore College and completed his doctoral degree in music composition, improvisation and performance with computers from the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies at the Univeristy of California, Berkeley.

Valerie Cassel Oliver (Houston, TX)

Valerie Cassel Oliver is Senior Curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH), where she has been assembling acclaimed exhibitions since 2001.  Included among them are Splat Boom Pow! The Influence of Cartoons in Contemporary Art (2003); Double Consciousness: Black Conceptual Art Since 1970 (2005); Black Light White Noise: Sound and Light in Contemporary Art (2007); Cinema Remixed and Reloaded: Black Women Artists and the Moving Image  with Dr. Andrea Barnwell Brownlee (2009); Hand+Made: The Performative Impulse in Art and Craft (2010); a major retrospective on Benjamin Patterson, Born in the State of Flux/us, as well as the survey Donald Moffett: The Extravagant Vein (2011); Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art (2012); Trenton Doyle Hancock: Skin and Bones–20 Years of Drawing (2014); the first museum survey of work by New York-based artist Jennie C. Jones, entitled Compilation (2015), among many others. She was also a member of the curatorial team for the 2000 Biennial Exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art.  Prior to her tenure at CAMH, she was the director of the Visiting Artists Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and curated several lecture series and symposia including Witness: Art/Activism (1998); Lesbian Identity and the Landscape of Homophobia (1998); The Performative Object (1998); Culture of Empire/Culture of Resistance (1998); Reality/Virtual Reality (1997) and Sound Mining: Unearthing Extended Voice (1996).  Cassel Oliver is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and Howard University in Washington, D.C. In 2007, Cassel Oliver received a Getty Research Institute fellowship for her work on Benjamin Patterson, and in 2009, she was selected as a fellow for the Center for Curatorial Leadership in New York. She has lectured extensively, published widely and served as a program specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts (1988 to 1995).

Brett Phares (New York, NY)

Brett Phares is a visual artist working in computer visualization and installation, exploring attentional blindness in physical experience and time shifts in simulated space. Phares has more than 20 years of experience utilizing interactive media in his own artwork and has employed it commercially to create innovative projects for several prominent international brands. His work has been featured in exhibitions in North America and Asia, including the London Museum (Ontario, Canada), the Chelsea Art Museum (New York, NY) and SIGGRAPH Asia (Singapore). In 2008, he co-founded Digital Graffiti, an annual projected art festival in Alys Beach, FL, where he continues to serve as the curator. He has taught Media Arts at Hunter College (New York, NY) and Marist College (Poughkeepsie, NY) and directs an artist’s residency as part of the Digital Graffiti festival. Currently, he is in the early stages of founding an artist collective called General Anxiety. He received his M.F.A. from Hunter College in Integrated Media Arts, and M.A. in Art History, Theory and Criticism from Stony Brook University.

Amy Eva Raehse (Baltimore, MD)

Amy Eva Raehse is Executive Director and Curator of Goya Contemporary in Baltimore, MD, which represents emerging and mid-career contemporary artists.  She has curated nearly 100 exhibitions and has placed artworks in major public and private collections worldwide including the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY), the Smithsonian (Washington, D.C.), the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Arts and Design (New York, NY), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY), among others. A New Yorker by birth but a Baltimorean by choice, Raehse is a curator, lecturer, educator, arts consultant, as well as a long standing Trustee of The Creative Alliance in Baltimore and a Programming Advisory member at Maryland Art Place. She has juried many exhibitions and awards and has authored exhibition catalogue essays and articles in several publications. A member of the Association of Print Scholars and a recipient of Baltimore’s Daily Record VIP Award, Raehse holds a M.F.A. and B.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts and a Certificate in Arts Management from Amherst College. She has taught at a number of colleges and universities, and lectures extensively on professional practices for fine artists.


In addition to the BGE Light Art Walk jurors, a team of four jurors selected eight neighborhoods to receive funding up to $15,000 for the creation of an illuminated public art project in their neighborhood during Light City. In 2016, five neighborhoods were selected to receive funding up to $10,000. Neighborhood Lights is an immersive community artist-in-residency program that extends the magic of Light City beyond the Inner Harbor by allowing artists to work collaboratively with the neighborhood of their artist residency. The request for qualifications (RFQ) for artists to participate in Neighborhood Lights is open until August 1, 2016 and available on www.lightcity.org/call-for-entry. Through proposals submitted by community organizations through an EOI (Expression of Interest), the jurors selected the following neighborhoods for Neighborhood Lights 2017: Hamilton-Lauraville, Waverly, Sandtown-Winchester, Station North, Coldstream Homestead Montebello, Little Italy, Hampden and Greater Mondawmin.

Priya Bhayana

Priya Bhayana is a cultural organizer and non-profit consultant based in Baltimore, MD. She works with organizations to build their capacity in fundraising, long-term vision planning and communications. She previously served as the inaugural Director of the Bromo Arts District, strengthening the neighborhood’s position as a thriving cultural corridor in Downtown Baltimore. Prior to this position, Bhayana worked as a community organizer and then at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Priya was named a Young Cultural Innovator by the Salzburg Global Forum in 2014.

Casey Brent

Casey Brent, a native Baltimorean, is the Special Assistant to the Deputy Mayor of Economic and Neighborhood Development.  In her role, she is the arts and culture liaison for the City of Baltimore and works with city agencies responsible for hospitality and tourism, youth employment development, historic properties and recreation.

David Fakunle

David Fakunle is a fourth-year doctoral student at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Additionally, he has been a performing artist for more than 20 years. He is the co-founder and primary facilitator of DiscoverME/RecoverME, an intervention program that utilizes African storytelling to aid in societal trauma recovery.

Stephen Towns

Stephen Towns is a visual artist currently based out of Baltimore. Towns’ work is deeply rooted in race and its effects on American society. Towns is also a program coordinator in MICA’s Office of Community Engagement, where he works with members of the MICA community to facilitate community projects.