Arturo HerraraArt student Arturo Herrara models the illuminated mask he'll be wearing in the Eco Nuit parade on October 5 in Toronto.

Windsor artists to light up the night in Toronto

A visual arts professor is looking for fellow enlightened artists, musicians, performers and high-energy art lovers to join her on a bus ride to Toronto to take part in an illuminating art parade this fall.

Jennifer Willet, a professor in the School for Arts and Creative Innovation, wants people to march in the Eco Nuit parade on October 5. The parade is part of the Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, an annual sunset-to-sunrise celebration of contemporary art.

In collaboration with the Ontario Science Centre’s !dea Gallery, the procession will be a parade of “local nocturnal ecology” that will “illuminate and reveal a menagerie of living organisms via digital media and phosphorescence,” according to Dr. Willet, who specializes in bio-art, and is director of the University’s Incubator lab.

Interested artists can make glow-in-the-dark costumes, and devices that emit sound and light.  Marchers eager to join the parade will be given masks, streamers, noisemakers, and take-home lab experiments, Willet said.

Arturo Herrera, left, who will enter the University’s master of fine arts program this fall, is one of the artists who will participate in the parade. He made a giant mask out of old T-shirts, cheese cloth and wire that goes over his entire head and illuminates from the inside with flashing LED lights. He said the costume is a statement about identity and how others make assumptions about people based on their appearances.

“It’s a ton of fun,” Herrera said of the event, which he has participated in before. More than 500 artists took part in last year’s Nuit Blanche.

The parade begins at 7 p.m. on October 5 and runs through the night to 7 a.m. the next morning. Marchers will depart from Windsor on October 5 and set up a home base tent in from of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health on Queen Street. They’ll join the parade at 9 p.m., 1 a.m., and 5 a.m., freeing them up to take part in the event’s other festivities through the night.

Willet is looking for about 40 marchers and artists to take part in the parade. If you’d like to participate, or would just like more information, contact Pearl Van Geest at, or check out the event’s Facebook page.

Artists who want to perform in the parade should prepare a one-page proposal about their submissions, which should be unique portable art/science projects that explore themes around the local ecology and the night, and emit light or glow in some sense. Send proposals to Van Geest at the address above by no later than August 20.