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Northern Kentucky University’s School of the Arts will be at the Cincinnati BLINK 2019 Art & Light Festival with a unique concert collaboration entitled “LightStreams” on Thursday, Oct. 10 at 9 p.m. Smale Riverfront Park (east of Roebling Suspension Bridge on the Ohio side of the river). After the opening performance event, the art installation will remain open for viewing through Oct. 13.

Experience the dynamic effects of movement and color of illuminated suspended canoes while the NKU Philharmonic Orchestra performs music by Bedřich Smetana, Miguel Roig-Francolí, and John Botter. After the live performance, the art installation will continue with NKU Philharmonic recorded music for the duration of the weekend for BLINK viewers to experience. “LightStreams” is an artistic collaboration of the Music and Visual Arts Programs of SOTA.






About the Project


From indigenous Mound Builders to early settlers of Cincinnati, the river has been the foundation upon which our great city was built. Water, rivers, and streams contain a magic power with thousands of colors and shapes contained in their movements. This performance and installation evokes these mesmerizing movements, explores the past, and embraces our future. The metaphor of canoes traveling on water to communicates our region’s past and the continuing journey to our future.

The installation evokes our connection to place, to tell the story of the land and our relationship to the river. Eight canoes will be supported above ground at various heights between seven and ten feet in the air. The installation will utilize dynamic colored lights that illuminate the boats coordinated to music. Also, each canoe will have fully programmable lights that will bathe light from the interior of the hulls. This will provide a contrasting light texture to the linear paths of light on the canoes.

Live music will be performed for one night only. Musicians will wear small blue lights on their hands to simulate the movement of water.

About the Artists

Brad McCombs

Brad McCombs

Brad McCombs is associate professor of art, interim music program head and coordinator for new media art at Northern Kentucky University.  His expertise is about creating dynamic environments and worlds that create powerful connections with an audience, whether they are physical, virtual or somewhere in-between. As a conceptual and interdisciplinary artist, he constantly pushes the creative use of low- and high-tech elements in finding solutions to projects that engage the public.

Hans Schellhas

Hans Schellhas

Hans Schellhas is a visual communication designer and film-maker. He is currently an associate professor at Northern Kentucky University in the Visual Arts Program. His film and design work has been published and recognized by the American International Film Festival, Graphis, Creativity International, Rockport Publishers, Creative Quarterly Journal and was selected as one of Creative Quarterly’s top 100 artists, photographers and designers for the 2015 100 Best Annual.

Amy Gillingham

Amy Gillingham

Amy Gillingham is a cellist, conductor, director, educator, and arts advocate dedicated to leveraging her roles to advance, empower, and inspire others through music. She currently serves as assistant professor of strings and director of orchestras at Northern Kentucky University. Dr. Gillingham has previously served as executive director of the National String Project Consortium, an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Philharmonic Orchestra Personnel

Holly Attar
Erin Ballou
Benjamin Barkdoll
Nicholas Beinkemper
Meghan Bennett
Jancarlo Bustamante
Victor Cabezas
Quinn Caney
Daniel Connair
Michael Culligan
Christian Davis
Michael Emmerich
Meredith Frank
Riley Fuson
Evelyn Gates
Heather Hacker
Tanner Haller
Sabrina Harrison
Madison Herzner
William Herzog
Taylor House
Kailee Kenwright
Laura Lamb
Alexander Lang
Nathanael Larwa
Joseph Lonicker
John Lorenzo
Ellen Mcgoron
Rachel Millward
Angie Natividad
Nicole Ortiz
Madeleine Pittman
Katrina Raymond-Ball
Trinity Rose
Gita Srinivasan
Olivia Steiner
Jennifer Stephens
Delaan Sumler
John Thoburn
Oscar Thompson
James Tober
David Veshapidze
Corey Watzek
Madison Wendland
Aimee Wendling
Elizabeth Williams
Clay Wilson
Lydia Wira
Melissa Young
Russell Zimmer



Jonathan Eaton

Student Apprentices

Tanner Haller
Isabella Dell'Aira
Kareem Elgusain
Zack Hargrove


Samuel Greenhill (NKU Student)

KET Crew

Frank Simkonis


Photos by Samuel Greenhill