The 2016 Newburgh Lightbulb Project

Posted in Creative Class, Heritage Newburgh, Historical Newburgh, Local Happenings

Lightbulb Project 2016 Broadway, Newburgh, N.Y.

 The 2016 Newburgh Light Bulb Project  Grand Finale & SILENT AUCTION JULY 10th 7:00 p.m.

PLACE: Newburgh Waterfront Park
1 Washington Street
Newburgh, New York, 12550

In June we sat down to talk with partners Gerardo Castro and Michael Gabor, as well as co-owners of Newburgh Art Supply and organizers of The 2016 Newburgh Lightbulb Project.

We spoke about history, art, and the Lightbulb Project, all in the context of Newburgh:  where she has been, what she’s become, and where she is headed.

These two artists and shop owners are the definition of good citizenship and first in class members of the creative class.
In fact, they are city treasures.
Whether it be their Lightbulb Project (which this article publicizes);  their Open Studios Event, which is a fall event that raises awareness about the burgeoning art scene in Newburgh; or their spring event, Art About Water, which is part art exhibition and part community awareness about the importance of water, these gentlemen show up, get involved, and do much to raise awareness about Newburgh’s art, its history, and, especially, its potential.
Gerardo Castro's Lightbulb Project Artwork Submitted for the 2016 Newburgh, N.Y. Lightbulb Project
The Lightbulb Project ARTIST: Gerardo Castro
“Nuestra Señora de los Rolos Sagrado”


To understand arts activism as it pertains to Newburgh, and how they arrived,  they spoke of how some of their inspiration for arts activism is tied to Michael’s (now deceased) friend, Don Herron (known for his early 80’s Bathtub Series, photographing artists like Keith Haring and Robert Mapplethorpe) as well as to their own artistry (Michael is a photographer and Gerardo is a painter).

Micheal,  Don and a lot of the artists who in the ’80’s  made New York’s Soho and East Village, and the Flatiron and Chelsea districts their homes, were eventually forced out of their Manhattan digs as rents rose and the pioneers who made neighborhoods what they were, left.


As New York neighborhoods were in the process of transitioning, Michael like Don Herron did what any self-respecting, peripatetic artists would do: find another (forgotten) city, with great old bones and a fabulous history,  buy a home there and begin the process of discovering it.

And, both did.

Michael’s project became the Fullerton Mansion, which he invested a great deal of time, effort and money into restoring. And, Gerardo Castro, explains, Don Herron’s project became the purchase of the town home  that was located around the corner from the Montgomery Street Electric Station, one of the country’s first power stations. Apparently Thomas Alva Edison resided at the town house, living there while supervising the construction of the Montgomery Street Electric Station, of the world’s earliest service stations which began producing electricity in 1884.

We began to understand the inter-relatedness and significance of The Lightbulb Project,  Newburgh, art, and Newburgh’s history.”The main reason we chose the light bulb was to raise awareness about art and Newburgh, and so I knew we had to do that in a way that tied Newburgh and her history together and what we knew of it and, literally, as I thought of it, a lightbulb went off!” Gerardo Castro
From their press release:
Over 100 artists will be taking part in the 3rd installment of The Lightbulb Project, a Public Art event, where 104 four-foot lightbulbs have been exhibited throughout the City of Newburgh culminating in a large-scale art event:The Lightbulb Project Finale & Silent Auction, July 10th 12noon to 7pm at Newburgh Waterfront Park –  former Con-Iron site. FREE and open to the public.

The Lightbulb Project is organized by Gerardo Castro and Michael Gabor, co-owners of Newburgh Art Supply and co-sponsored by the City of Newburgh. The public is invited to engage with 104 four-foot Light bulbs that have displayed throughout the City of Newburgh for 2 months. Over 100 artists of all disciplines, professional and novice are participating- from Fine Artists, graphic designers, sculptors, tailors, carpenters and some are collaborations by NFA students. The Lightbulb Project has grown from 84 lightbulbs two years ago to 104 this year. These Artists created a unique and eclectic collection of art pieces. The artists have used a dynamic combination of materials, methods, technology, concepts, and subjects and some even challenge traditional boundaries and defy easy definition.

Sunday July 10th, from 12noon to 7pm, the 104 lightbulbs will exhibited on the city owned property NewburghWaterfront Park. One of the highlights of this event will be a silent auction where select light bulbs will be available for purchase. Silent auction begins at 12noon and ends at 5pm – announcement of winners is at 6pm.  (it’s best to bring cash or checks to pay for winning bids) Proceeds from the auction go to artists and to help fund next installment of The Lightbulb Project. View past 2 years and 2016

Gerardo Castro visits with a friend his shop Newburgh Art Supply

Concerning The Lightbulb Project and Public Art- Gerardo Castro states the following:  “Community events are an investment in our future. They create opportunities that can foster excitement and vitality in individual members as well as in the community as a whole. One of my fundamental objectives with The Lightbulb Project is to have art that is uniquely accessible and that enables people to experience art in the course of our daily lives, outside of museums or other cultural institutions. In consequence, the work can reverberate throughout the community, thereby encouraging a sense of shared ownership and collective affiliation.  The Lightbulb Project is intended to provide an intersection between past, present and future, between disciplines, and between ideas.  By building and reinforcing community culture, public art can act as a catalyst for community generation or regeneration and it’s freely accessible.  Experiencing the 4-foot lightbulbs does something that neither a public space without art nor even a museum with all its art can do: it can capture the eye and mind of someone passing through our public spaces. It can make us pay attention to our environment; it can encourage us to question what’s around us.”


More information Contact Gerardo Castro / Michael Gabor
Business 845-561-5552    5 Grand Street  Newburgh, NY 12550
[email protected]
Follow us on #TheLightbulbProject