If you've noticed this year's holiday window displays looking more high-tech than usual, you can thank the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston and the New Center. The two organizations launched 8 Nights, 8 Windows, an eight-location public art project celebrating Hanukkah through a series of interactive installations.
Each window display hosts the innovative work of local artists for a limited-time only. Among the must-see: Saul Baizman and Fish McGill's selfie-powered menorah at Boomerangs Special Edition in the South End (use hashtag #HueMenorah to add your own), and an artificial sunrise at by Gianna Stewart at the Cambridge Trust Company.
Luckily for the project — which was several years in the making — it arrived just in time for the rise of public art in the Boston area with large-scale installations at the Lawn on D and the Rose Kennedy Greenway expanding the city's cultural scope.
"It could not be more timely," said Laura Mandel, Executive Director for the New Center for Arts and Culture. "We happened upon this renaissance, and through every step we’ve taken [with this project], the city has gotten more and more incredible."
Mandel, who served as project lead with a think tank of creative, media and philanthropic consultants for 8 Nights, said the team is already looking to what next year could bring.
"This year we’re going to see what works and what doesn't work," Mandel said. "And we’ll look at what next year will look like, but we fully intend for this event to become an annual event."
The windows went up for the first night of Hanukkah (Dec.6), and as the installation's name implies, they're up for the eight nights of the celebration only.
Check them out while you can, through Monday, Dec. 14.