Let There Be Light—on the National Cathedral

Artist Gerry Hofstetter will project colorful images onto National Cathedral this month. In a trial run last year, he projected the leafy design shown here.
Artist Gerry Hofstetter will project colorful images onto National Cathedral this month. In a trial run last year, he projected the leafy design shown here.

Since 2000, illumination artist Gerry Hofstetter has been using 6,000-watt projectors to shine images onto buildings, monuments, and mountains. His next project is an illumination of Washington National Cathedral at Massachusetts and Wisconsin avenues. Called “Lighting to Unite,” it will take place from dusk to midnight on May 9, 10, and 11. There’s a test run on May 8.

A former investment banker and helicopter pilot, Hofstetter has projected hieroglyphics onto the pyramids in Egypt and polar bears onto melting icebergs in Antarctica. In his native Switzerland—where he has a marketing company—he used three helicopters to create a 3,300-foot-wide image on the Matterhorn mountain. Future projects include light projections at the Beijing Olympics. But first there's Washington.

Hofstetter plans an illumination of the cathedrals south side using images of the cathedrals multicolored windows; hell also do work on the west side. Because the cathedral sits atop Mount St. Alban, one of the highest points in the District, the illumination—weather and Pepco willing—should be visible from miles away. Says Hofstetter: “Light is hope, and a church is a place for hope.”

Get details and schedules here.

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