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Architects of Air Katena - inside of dome

Located in City Plaza on Fayetteville Street, the Architect’s of Air Katena luminarium is not to be missed at this year’s Artsplosure – The Raleigh Arts Festival.

Friday: 1:00 – 7:00 pm
Saturday: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sunday: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Admission: $6/adults, kids 4 and younger are free.

It’s time for Artsplosure – The Raleigh Arts Festival, and that means that it’s time to be awed by the array of art, music, and creativity taking over downtown this weekend! This year’s festival highlight, the Katena Luminarium, is no exception!

“Artsplosure has always tried to tickle the whimsy of our festival goers with something new and different. Art for ages has proven to help lift us up from our ordinary everyday lives and make us feel a little more acutely. We felt it had been five years since we last brought a luminarium to Raleigh and that the time was ripe to bring Katena here.” says Artsplosure Programming Director Terri Dollar.

Architects of Air build ‘luminaria’ – monumental inflatable structures designed to generate a sense of wonder at the beauty of light and colour. From, Hong Kong to Honolulu, Taipei to Tel Aviv, Sydney to Singapore, the monumental walk-in sculptures of Architects of Air have enchanted audiences around the world. Since 1992, over 3 million visitors in 41 countries across 5 continents have immersed themselves in the spectacular, luminous world of Architects of Air. Built in 2016, Katena takes its name from the catenary curve – the shape of a chain suspended between 2 points. Gaudi used suspended chains when he designed the Sagrada Familia. The catenary has a visual sympathy with pneumatic forms and in Katena. Entering the airlock provides the first encounter with the catenary as the airlock windows are in the form of the inverted catenary. Proceeding then to the first of the 3 dodecahedral domes the catenary makes its appearance as a motif generated by displaced seams. Catenary curves may be found elsewhere in the structure – altogether there are more than 100. The Main Dome of Katena is said to resemble a pineapple and has been likened to a Hindu temple from the inside. Its construction was particularly intricate with a fine mesh of riveted and sewn reinforcement defining the shape and over 200 colour spots swirling upward to a green finial.

“Hosting a major installation like Architects of Air’s Katena luminarium gives us much pleasure. It’s a graphic expression of our “art for all” mission. We’re the only presenter in this part of the world willing and able to tackle such massive undertakings. Our goal in doing so is bring world-class art experiences, typically only available to residents of major urban areas, right here to Raleigh, NC!” said Artsplosure Executive Director Michael Lowder.

The luminarium will be open all weekend from Friday to Sunday. All ages are welcome, but children under the age of 16 to be accompanied by an adult.

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