This year, with additional support from the Liberty Station Community Association, the historic former Naval Training Center Pump House from 1923 will be transformed into a giant holiday gift complete with LED animated snowflakes, a giant bow and festive ribbon. For added excitement and engagement, thousands of LED lights can be programmed for a multitude of effects.
Local scenic designer and stagecraft expert Jay Newington’s proposal was selected by the Foundation’s Art in Public Places Committee as the one that best uses art to create a festive atmosphere and helps illuminate the North Promenade between the ice rink at Liberty Station and the Holiday Tree. The goal for the project was to use a creative lighting installation to unify all the Salute the Season holiday events.
His piece, titled “Snow Time! Like the Present?,” is expected to be completed by Nov. 29 in time for the lighting of the Holiday Tree. It will include more than 100 individual animated snowflakes, with more than 4,300 individual lights.
“The committee consensus was this was a creative use of an existing building wrapped with an artistic holiday lighting installation,” said chair Vicki Reed. “It will create a fun holiday landmark that will encourage people to explore the expanse of the Arts District and the shops, museums, art studios and galleries located between the Rady Children’s Ice Rink and the 88-foot decorated holiday tree near Stone Brewing World Bistro & Garden.”
The Pump House is directly in the center of the historic Arts District. Recently, a “Greetings” mural, created by artist Victor Ving, helped turn the building into an attraction and popular selfie stop. The mural will be temporarily covered during the holiday season and will return to view in January.
Newington is the third artist to be commissioned by the NTC Foundation to create an original piece for the holidays. Last year, Point Loma Nazarene graduate Ben Cabral created “Some Faces From Around Here” and in 2015 La Jollan Smadar Sampson created the brightly- lit ICE for display in front of the Dick Laub NTC Command Center. A 10-year resident of San Diego, Jay is the owner and creative director for scene-one, a San Diego-based Design I Fabrication studio specializing in large scale, themed installations.
In addition to projects with several local theatre companies, his work has been enjoyed by more than one million visitors each year at the San Diego County Fair. Newington has also done notable installations at Legoland California, San Diego Museum of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla. He resides in Uptown