International Light Art Award and Exhibition – Ruhr, Germany

The first International Light Art Award (ILAA) escaped the notice of most American art news outlets. The grantor is the Centre for International Light Art Unna (CILAU). This small museum in the Ruhr region has a notable collection that includes works by Olafur Eliasson, Joseph Kosuth and James Turrell.

Out of 29 nominees, the committee selected three finalists: Martin Hesselmeier - currently working as a Creative Digital Director at Meiré und Meiré in Cologne - and his Austrian design counterpart Andreas Muxel, Chilean light artist Iván Navarro, and German kinetics lighting designer Dirk Vollenbroich.

The exhibition was underwritten by RWE, one of Europe’s leading electricity and gas companies. “To us, light art is not only an artistic expression of energy, but also a motor for innovation and a means to bring about fundamental changes in society,” said Stephan Muschick of the RWE Foundation.