Review: BLINK Cincinnati

What’s even better than taking in the sights of beautiful visual displays, installations, and local music, is taking in the sights of hundreds of thousands of Cincinnatians doing the exact same thing.

BLINK Cincinnati was expected to be one of the nation’s largest light, art and projection mapping events, with more than half a million visitors. It recently had its four-day-long festival spanning 20 blocks from The Banks and Central Business District, north to Over-the-Rhine, and it far surpassed expectations, both in execution and attendance.

BLINK projected lights on multiple facades and spread about in a city where the architecture is so dynamic, and where fences (whether literal or otherwise) weren’t inhibiting their consumption; an all-encompassing (architecturally, socioeconomically, demographically) visual art installation spanning much of the urban core.

A parade kicked off the event at dusk on Thursday evening, as an abundance of lights and music made its way from Findlay Market to Washington Park. Twinkling bicycles, high school bands toting light-adorned instruments, illuminated jump ropes, hundreds of lanterns, glowing costumes, and the Wonders on Wheels made their way down Vine Street in OTR as tens of thousands of people lined the streets.

The nights that followed saw more than one million visitors who were treated to our lively city — aglow with murals, installations, light projections, live music, local beer and food, plus visitors of all ages, races, and abilities.

Not only was BLINK a vast display of visual arts, it was the best display of our civic pride. It was everyone coming together — organizers and community members — for one of the greatest events our city has ever seen.

I think I speak on behalf of everyone when I say this needs to be a repeat affair.

I know there are a lot of the same photos from BLINK floating around, but here are some of my favorites that I took this weekend:

“The Queen’s Throne” in Washington Park
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Umbrellas with the “Faces of Homelessness” mural on Vine Street just north of 12th
The Pool, Washington Park
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Architects of Air, Washington Park
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Lanterns in the parade
Reflection of an illluminated bird from Our Own Homecoming

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