2014 - Present
In 2013, the Society to Preserve the Millvale Murals of Maxo Vanka engaged Clear Story -- a design and technology firm based in Pittsburgh -- to develop a Lighting Design Master Plan for the Maxo Vanka murals, with a goal of creating a design strategy for mural illumination that could be implemented in phases.
Combining the illumination principles of art, theatre, and architecture, Clear Story methodically evaluated the physical space of St. Nicholas and the opportunities to integrate lighting elements into the building's architectural features. The energy efficient LED lighting system has been designed to evenly illuminate the murals in high quality, non-destructive light --bringing out every detail of Vanka's work. The installation of new lighting for the murals has followed closely behind the completed conservation efforts.
Clear Story also developed customized controls for the museum-quality mural lighting system. The control interface enables docents to seamlessly guide visitors through the story of the murals. Functionally, the integrated lighting directs the attention of visitors during guided tours.
Future phases of the lighting initiative will focus on the remaining murals to be conserved and enhancements to the general illumination of the space. Clear Story will continue to refine the design strategy as new technologies emerge, and the completion of subsequent conservation and lighting phases will further enhance the understanding and interpretation of the murals' artistic and historic content.
Society for the Protection of the Millvale Murals of Maxo Vanka, St. Nicholas Church