Luminous, Interactive 25-Foot-Tall Art Installation Coming to Downtown Silver Spring

By Editorial Team on April 12, 2021

Downtown Silver Spring partners, Peterson Companies and Foulger-Pratt partnered with DC-based Jean Efron Art Consultants to select work for a public art project as part of Foulger-Pratt’s $10 Million redevelopment of downtown Silver Spring.

“We identified more than 100 artists and selected FoldHaus because of the captivating, engaging and larger-than-life art they proposed,” explained Efron. “This is a high-traffic location in an arts community so we wanted something that would not only provide a huge ‘wow’ factor but also create a destination. This was a great project and we look forward to the installation.”

Artists concept. Courtesy of Downtown Silver Spring.

FoldHaus is an art collective based in the San Francisco Bay area. Since 2010, FoldHaus has created large-scale kinetic art installations that have often been unveiled at Burning Man and then shown around the world including Shrumen Lumen, shown at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC.

The Blumen Lumen art installation in Downtown Silver Spring is unlike any art in the world. It contains multiple 18 to 25-foot folded stainless-steel flowers that respond to weather patterns and open and close as the sun rises and sets. At night, their colorful display can be influenced by people’s voices. This kinetic installation balances modern technology with nature. “FoldHaus builds experiences that are both poetic and robotic. Its art balances the tension between technology and nature, using engineering and design to bring origami to life,” stated Paul Weinschenk, president of retail with Peterson Companies stated.  “This art represents the best integration of art, design, culture, nature, engineering and technology and provides a great learning lab for young students on how science, engineering and technology can come together with design to create kinetic art. This interactive and engaging display is different at all times throughout the day and reacts to the conditions around it. It’s uplifting—something that we think everyone can use right now.”

Blumen Lumen will be unveiled to the public on April 21 when Adventist Health frontline workers officially flip the switch on the art. From April 21 through the end of May, the public is encouraged to donate $25 to Adventist Health Foundation to have their message of gratitude printed on a flower graphic that will be displayed at Downtown Silver Spring.

Blumen Lumen will be prominently displayed at the intersection of Georgia Avenue and Colesville Road and adds to Downtown Silver Spring’s multiple artworks to the surrounding area. Downtown Silver Spring is one several state-designated Maryland Arts & Entertainment Districts.

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UPDATE: Please note that the unveiling date was moved from April 15 to April 21.  A previous version had the original date; the latest version has April 21, the new date.

(Source: Downtown Silver Spring Press Release.  Portions were modified for clarity)