Fluorescent exploration: Waterloo Arts hosts DayGloLAB before annual DayGloSho

Before hosting this year’s annual DayGloSho, starting Friday, Feb. 4—an exhibit of blacklight-reactive artwork made by regional artists using Day-Glo paint—officials at Waterloo Arts thought perhaps the event needed a warm up act.

So, as a precursor to the DayGloSho, Waterloo Arts this month has been hosting DayGloLAB—an artistic experiment with Day-Glo paint that includes live demos and workshops, conversations and talks, hands-on activities, rehearsals and performances.

<span class="content-image-text">DayGloLAB offers insight into black light art and fluorescent paint.</span>DayGloLAB offers insight into black light art and fluorescent paint.“It’s our ninth year for the DayGloSho, and we really expanded our staff for the lab,” says Danny Volk, program manager for Waterloo Arts. “We’re looking beyond traditional artwork and testing how Day-Glo can be used in theater, inlet dance, drag performances, and beyond.”

DayGloLAB, which offers insight into black light art and fluorescent paint, will house the products of these explorations through Thursday, Feb. 3.

Almost 10 years ago, Waterloo Arts partnered with DayGlo Color Corp. in MidTown, the world’s largest manufacturer of  fluorescent pigments. In addition to paint, the company makes pigments for use in cosmetics, plastics and textiles.

Participants in DayGloLAB are encouraged to get creative with the paint. While regularly used for artistic purposes, people are finding new ways to use this fluorescent pigment in daily life—some with life-saving potential.

“We’re working with Vision Zero to see how Day-Glo can create safer streets,” says Volk. “With brighter street lines and crosswalks, our streets could be safer for pedestrians. In a few years, Day-Glo might actually help save lives.”

A sensory-based experience, DayGloLAB will include black light demos, conversations, performances and hands-on experiments within three general frameworks: the body, the domestic space, and the public sphere.

Current investigators at the lab include Inlet Dance Theatre, drag performer Cassie Harner (aka Dusty Bucket), Dance Dance Party Party Cleveland, Crème de la Cleveland, Vision Zero, and artist Thomas Masaveg.

<span class="content-image-text">Waterloo Arts hosts DayGloLAB before annual DayGloSho</span>Waterloo Arts hosts DayGloLAB before annual DayGloShoDayGloLAB ends on Thursday, Feb. 3, then starting Friday, Feb. 4 with Walk All Over Waterloo, DayGloSho attendees can see Day-Glo in paintings, choreographed dances and more. The show features the fluorescent artwork of 40 regional, all shown in black light. Since the entire gallery is lit by blacklight, guests are urged to wear something that will pop.

The DayGloSho runs through Saturday, Feb. 26.

COVID-19 protocols are in place, so all visitors are required to wear masks and show proof of vaccination upon entry.

“We’re making the DayGloSho accessible to everyone, so we have in-person and virtual viewing options,” says Volk. “This show will be fully functional during the pandemic, which is our goal.”

Dana Shugrue
Dana Shugrue

About the Author: Dana Shugrue

Dana Shugrue is a graduate of John Carroll University, where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Media and Professional Writing. She is a full-time Content Specialist at Budget Dumpster, and part-time freelance writer for FreshWater Cleveland. When she’s not writing, you can catch Dana taking a run through the metros or sipping a latte at her favorite local coffee shop.