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Art Steals the Show…

 at Maccarone Gallery. (Prudential MicroWash named as accomplice.)

With grand plans for her Los Angeles expansion, New York gallery owner Michele Maccarone was thrilled when she happened upon the ideal spot in the newly buzzing Boyle Heights neighborhood. She quickly hired an architect whose first site visit confirmed his suspicion – that the 35,000 square-foot industrial behemoth was fraught with challenges in the lighting department, particularly for the exacting standards of gallery illumination. So he immediately reached out to lighting guru-ess Heather Libonati of Luminesce Design.

With build-out planning underway, Libonati walked the space at various times of day to better understand how the natural light shifted morning to night. When asked about the challenges, Libonati is quick to reframe them as ‘opportunities,’ highlighting a few as top contenders for the ‘trickiest’ prize, including a variety of complex roof angles, daylight pouring in through the skylights, and all-white walls for an off-the-charts bounce factor. She goes on to say, ‘Add to all that the fact that it’s an art gallery, where a whole different set of rules apply – and things get even more interesting.’

They were able to rule out a few possibilities right off the bat, due to Maccarone’s desire to keep the space open and raw. That eliminated track lighting, which would have interrupted the flow. And matching to natural light was out of the question due to cost. After exploring a handful of solutions from a few different manufacturers, Libonati chose to trust her proven instincts and go out on a limb, doing something that had never been done before.

A  fan of the MicroCove from Prudential Lighting, Libonati contacted Prudential to see if there was a way to potentially re-configure the fixture, bringing its superior optics into the gallery in a cleaner, even more unobtrusive way. She was able to get a sneak peek at MicroWash, a new product in the works, featuring a minimized profile for a cleaner look and easier installation. After some further tinkering in the manufacturing plant, MicroWash was fast-tracked into production and ready for rollout.

The modifications enabled Libonati to join 3-to-5-foot segments vs tacking a 1-foot fixture onto the end of a 4-footer, with jumper cable in between. Since this was relatively uncharted territory, she met with the factory team to make sure the mounting details would work, and they tested a mock-up in the gallery.

“The Prudential MicroWash effect was perfectly uniform over the walls, both during both day and night like we’d hoped.”

With this major win under her belt, Libonati pauses to consider her lighting wish list for future projects. ‘I’d say I’m most looking forward to continued enhanced color consistency and smaller form packages.’ She smiles, ‘Options. I’m all about options.’

Products Used in This Project