Celebrating 30 years of Winter Lights in Harvard Square! 1986 – 2016



Denise Jillson, executive director of the Harvard Square Business Association is pleased to announce that the HSBA is celebrating 30 years of Winter Lights in Harvard Square. There will be a special meet and greet with the designer, Ross Miller and Jason Weeks, the Executive Director of the Cambridge Arts Council. 

The event will take place on Wednesday, December 21st at 4:15 p.m. at the HSBA office at 18 Brattle Street, Harvard Square. 

Ross Miller is a longtime Cambridge resident and renowned local lighting artist. He explained the evolution of Harvard Square’s Winter Lights in this way…


I believe it is a basic need, a spiritual need, to seek light to warm our spirits as winter days get shorter and nights grow longer, darker and colder. 
30 years ago, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to combine my desire to create artwork in public spaces with my net-making experience, learned while commercial salmon fishing; a seemingly incongruous partnership that was sparked by a piece of graffiti I saw drawn with lipstick in Harvard Square!
At that time, I had graduated from college and was living with roommates near Inman Square. During the previous summers I worked salmon fishing on the vast Pacific Ocean. Back in Cambridge, I missed those nights under the crisp, dark star-filled sky.
In a casual conversation with arts planners, I described my still un-formed idea to weave miniature lights into nets suspended over urban streets. ‘Can you do that?’ I was asked. ‘Sure’, I said confidently…and yet, I honestly had no idea how to do what I had just proposed! 
A few years later as ideas kept developing, I was invited by the Harvard Square Business Association and the Cambridge Arts Council to offer designs for winter lighting. On the way to the meeting I passed a telephone booth near the Pit in Harvard Square and there scrawled on a glass side panel, in red lipstick, was an exuberant spiral-squiggle-star graffiti mark. That drawing became the inspiration for the Dancing Stars over Brattle Street, and over Mass. Ave at Bow Street that were installed in 1986.   
The next year the star over JFK was developed from children’s sketches in a day care center.
Lastly, the Spiral Nebula over Out of Town News was installed.  Its design is based on a Hubble Space Telescope photograph of Galaxy M-51. Known as the Whirlpool Galaxy, it is currently estimated to be 23.16 million light years from earth, plus or minus 4 million light years or so. First documented in 1773, it is understood to be the interaction of two entirely separate companion galaxies. A black hole, surrounded by swirling clouds of dust, is thought to be at the center of the spiral form.
The design and fabrication of these artworks has involved collaboration with artists including Shannon Flattery, Douglas Fitch, and assisted by students from Mass Art, The Museum School and Cambridge Rindge and Latin.
Each year before the holiday season, we spend hours in my Allston studio repairing and maintaining the light displays; fixing electrical shorts, changing thousands of light bulbs, and rolling the nets up for installation by Cambridge-based electrical contractor Aetna Lighting.
As winter begins, Joe Occhino, of Aetna and his bucket truck crew install the displays, snow or shine, at 4:30 a.m. before the hustle of Harvard Square begins. The Winter Lights remain up, when they are really needed… through snow and storm, through the dark nights of January into February, until the sunlight returns and the days grow longer. 
If you look carefully, you may notice that every year the light patterns subtly change.  I add a new arrangement of colored twinkling lights here, a miniature light sequence added there. My most recent maintenance work included a bit of net weaving restoration, and replacing traditional incandescent bulbs with low-energy LED lamps. 
Truth be told, I am astonished and delighted that the Winter Lights are still going strong after 30 years!”


Miller is not alone in his delight.  According to Denise Jillson, “thousands of people enjoy the lights and mark the beginning of the winter season by their presence.” 

Jason Weeks points to the 30 year collaboration between his organization, Miller, and the HSBA as a wonderful example of private/public partnership.

Weeks said, “Ross Miller is nothing short of a national treasure! As an artist working in a variety of media, his curiosity and humor are evident in everything he creates. Whether sculpting with light, water, sticks and reeds, netting or even animal footprints, his artwork is steeped in history and frequently upends our common or preconceived notions of place. The whimsical nature of Winter Lights is the perfect antidote to the cold, dark winter nights that settle in just around the time that the banners are erected over our city streets. Their magic is activated through the interaction with those passing by and beneath and it can be measured by the joy their illumination brings to countless individuals, families and visitors the Harvard Square each year!”

Jillson added that not only does the HSBA provide for the maintenance and installation costs of the Winter Lights and has throughout the decades…but she and her staff enjoy them with a unique advantage. The HSBA is ensconced in a wonderful old-world office on the third floor of 18 Brattle Street that boasts the best view of the Brattle Street Dancing Star.

Over the years, Jillson has said that she wished that everyone could see the lights from the HSBA vantage point as they cast a warm glow in the cozy, early 20th century office space with its high ceilings, original chair rail and vast windows that look out onto the hustle and bustle of the street below. 

Jillson is not certain that the HSBA will have the “privilege of being in this special space next Christmas, as the building has been sold.  So this year, I am inviting folks to join us at 4:15 p.m. on the evening of the winter solstice (12/21), in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Winter Lights. Ross Miller and Jason Weeks will be on hand to discuss the project and of course, to view the Brattle Street Dancing Star from the best prospect, in what surely is, the most charming office space in the City of Cambridge!”     

For more information about this event, please contact Denise Jillson at:  djillson@harvardsquare.com


Really? 30 years of Winter Lights in Harvard Square and only one tree and some star with lights on and nothing else? I thought for such occasion, Harvard Square could have been better decorated.
I was about to go there and see the lights, but I changed my mind and decided to do my homework online. I think, it could have been better to make people more interested.

I really think that this post is pretty informative and I write similar stuff at my blog at dissertation writing service site.

Thanks for sharing such a useful post with us! I am writing the research for the college paper writing services related to this topic

That is not odd at all. You don't have to dress according to season you just wear whatever you want and honestly if you wear lovely bright light hearted colours in the winter, you could attract a lot more positive attention from others who dress all dull. corporate video production rates I'm wearing light coloured jeans many times even though it's winter and people only say nice things.

Wow. cool post. I’d like to write like this too – taking time and real hard work to make a great article… but I put things off too much and never seem to get started. Thanks though. common rail come from sensor .

No offense, yet it is exceedingly far-fetched that anybody could take a gander at those two representation and make any inferences. Best Essay Writing Service. Further, regardless of the possibility that you had every one of the information that delivered those two charts, it is hard to measurably break down it and thought of any strong conclusions.

I’d wish to write like this too – taking time and real diligence to create an excellent article… however, I place things off an excessive amount of and never appear to urge started. Essays Writing Service

Hi friend, really appreciate your great post, this post was posted in 2016, but even today it still very useful and informative, thanks much! - webpage

The article is basically nothing however colossal. I venerate the in custom coursework help occasion you share now. It's a flashing made blog area. This is the huge article you have partaken in this post. Grateful!!

I trust it is an essential necessitate, an otherworldly need, to look for illumination to balmy our mental state as winter days obtain shorter and evenings develop longer, gloomy and colder. Write My Paper Online. In the event that you look precisely, you may see that consistently the light examples unpretentiously change.

Lihat disini info harga besi wf terbaru yang bisa bikin anda merinding dan ingin segera mem beli karena harga besi profil wf yang ditulis disini murah tidak biasa dan tentunya telah melalui proses perbandingan semua orang tentunya menginginkan harga besi iwf yang…Agen Atap Spandek
Agen Atap Spandek
Distributor baja ringan
Agen Bondek Cor
Distributor Plat besi plat kapal
undangan pernikahan aneh
Jual Jual Besi Siku Baja
Harga Besi Wf Baja
Agen sch 40
undangan pernikahan kalender
undangan pernikahan bahasa inggris islam
Jual besi beton jcac
Pabrik Atap Spandek
undangan pernikahan simple
Pabrik Atap Spandek
Distributor bondek
Pabrik Bondek Cor
Distributor besi h beam baja
jual laptop asus jual laptop asus
jual laptop asus murah jual laptop asus murah
undangan pernikahan mewah
Jual Besi Unp Baja Profil Kanal
Pabrik Besi Wf Baja
Pabrik sch 40
Jual besi beton interworld steel is
Distributor Bondek Cor
Distributor Bondek Cor
Distributor Plat kapal besi baja bki krakatau steel
Distributor Welded Beam
Distributor besi cnp
undangan pernikahan cute
Jual Besi Cnp Profil Baja Gording
Distributor Plat Besi Baja
Distributor besi Pipa sch 80 baja
Jual besi beton gunung garuda
Harga Bondek Cor
Harga Bondek Cor
Distributor besi siku
Harga Welded Beam
undangan pernikahan online
undangan pernikahan islami
undangan pernikahan unik dan murah
Jual Besi Hollow
Supplier Plat Besi Baja
Harga besi Pipa sch 80 baja
Jual besi beton delcoprima
Jual Bondek Cor
Jual Bondek Cor
Distributor pipa besi baja sch 40 sch 80
Jual Welded Beam
Jual besi Wf Baja
undangan pernikahan buatan sendiri
Jual Wiremesh
Agen Plat Besi Baja
Jual besi Pipa sch 80 baja
Jual besi beton cakra steel cs
Supplier Bondek Cor
Supplier Bondek Cor
Distributor Plat besi
Supplier Welded Beam
Jual bondek
undangan pernikahan artis
Jual Besi Pipa Baja Schedule 80
Toko Plat Besi Baja
Supplier besi Pipa sch 80 baja
Jual besi beton bjku
Toko Bondek Cor
Toko Bondek Cor
Distributor besi h beam
Toko Welded Beam
Jual wiremesh
undangan pernikahan anti mainstream
Jual Besi Pipa Baja Schedule 40
Jual Plat Besi Baja
Toko besi Pipa sch 80 baja
Jual besi beton Sni Ulir Polos
Agen Bondek Cor
Agen Bondek Cor
Distributor besi wf
Agen Welded Beam
Jual pipa besi baja sch 40 sch 80
undangan pernikahan amplop
Jual Pipa Besi Hitam Medium
Harga Plat Besi Baja
Agen besi Pipa sch 80 baja
Jual besi beton ais
Pabrik Bondek Cor
Pabrik Bondek Cor
Distributor wiremesh
Pabrik Welded Beam
Jual besi hollow
undangan pernikahan mewah
Jual Besi Wf
Pabrik Plat Besi Baja
Pabrik besi Pipa sch 80 baja
Jual besi beton
Distributor Welded Beam
Distributor Welded Beam
Distributor besi unp
Distributor Besi Beton
Jual besi beton Sni Ulir Polos
undangan pernikahan anime
Jual Besi H beam
Distributor Besi H beam Baja
Distributor Plat Bordes
jasa konstruksi baja
Harga Welded Beam
Harga Welded Beam
Distributor besi cnp
Harga Besi Beton
Jual besi wf baja
undangan pernikahan elegan
Jual Besi Beton
Supplier Besi H beam Baja
Harga Plat Bordes
Jual Welded Beam
Jual Welded Beam
Distributor besi hollow
Jual Besi Beton
Jual besi unp
undangan pernikahan contoh
Agen Besi H beam Baja
Jual Plat Bordes
Supplier Welded Beam
Supplier Welded Beam
Distributor besi beton Sni Ulir Polos
Supplier Besi Beton
Jual besi siku
undangan pernikahan yang unik
Harga Welded Beam T beam King Queen Cross Castellated Beam
Toko Besi H beam Baja
Supplier Plat Bordes
Toko Welded Beam
Toko Welded Beam
Toko Besi Beton
Jual Plat besi plat kapal
undangan pernikahan amplop
Harga Bondek Cor
Jual Besi H beam Baja
Toko Plat Bordes
harga besi beton Sni Ulir Polos polos ulir
Agen Welded Beam
Agen Welded Beam
Jual stainless steel
Agen Besi Beton jual hp asus murah jual hp asus murah
Jual besi h beam baja
undangan pernikahan unik dan murah
Harga Atap Spandek Sni
Harga Besi H beam Baja
Agen Plat Bordes
harga besi beton sii
undangan pernikahan kalender


Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.