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Speaking of Making with Adam Frelin & Breathing Lights

  • Atanta Contemporary 535 Means Street Northwest Atlanta, GA, 30318 United States (map)

Speaking of Making with Adam Frelin & Breathing Lights
Hosted by Atlanta Contemporary in conjunction with Contemporary Cocktails

Speaking of Making is a conversation series about work and the creative process, presented by AIR Serenbe. Join us during Contemporary Cocktails at Atlanta Contemporary for a closer look at the work of Adam Frelin, recipient of AIR Serenbe’s 2017 CoEsistere Focus Fellowship. CoEsistere supports an artist of any discipline whose work explores human population growth and its impact on wildlife. Adam will discuss his practice and his recent role as lead artist on Breathing Lights, the project he and his team completed with a $1 million Public Art Challenge grant through Bloomberg Philanthropies. Breathing Lights presented a multi-city, temporary public art installation that involves illuminating hundreds of abandoned buildings with a breathing effect created with light.

6pm: Doors open for Contemporary Cocktails
7pm: Talk with Adam Frelin



Adam Frelin (b.1973, Grove City, PA) has shown widely at venues such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Getty Research Institute, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, and the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. He has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, and the College Art Association. Frelin has completed residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, MacDowell Colony, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Ucross Foundation, Fine Arts Work Center, and Yaddo, among others. He has published two books of photography and has had several artworks commissioned throughout the world. Frelin received a BFA from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and an MFA University of California, San Diego. Currently he is an Associate Professor of art at the SUNY University at Albany, and lives in Troy, NY.  Learn more about Adam’s dynamic work and practice  at



For two months in fall 2016, Breathing Lights illuminated the street-facing windows of hundreds of vacant buildings in the neighboring cities of Albany, Schenectady, and Troy, NY. Warm light filled each window with a diffuse glow that pulses with the gentle rhythm of human breathing. Concentrated in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods with high vacancy rates, these installations  transformed vacant structures from pockets of shadows into places of warmth. This massive installation helped illuminate the region’s struggle with vacancy and its effects on residents and neighborhood economies, and regenerated interest in once-vibrant communities.

Funded through a $1 million Bloomberg Philanthropies "Public Art Challenge" grant, Breathing Lights was led by myself as lead artist, and architect Barbara Nelson. This project brought together local architects, students, engineers, artists, and product developers to design and install custom light instruments. Illumination kits consisted of miniature LED strip lights bound in adhesive fabric, affixed to interior window frames. The lights shined through windows covered in diffusion material, powered and controlled by batteries. In a region that pioneered electricity, a project centered on lighting technology infuses the installation with history and place. Learn more at


AIR Serenbe

AIR Serenbe, the nonprofit artist residency program of the Serenbe Institute, invests in artists of all disciplines.  We provide the time and space necessary for the creation of new work, as well as focused public programming that brings audiences in close contact with creative processes and practices.