Opera singer Elise Caluwaerts performs at the 3_Search Sense Coalescence exhibit at the Wyly Theatre, during Aurora, an interactive art exhibition in the Arts District.

Opera singer Elise Caluwaerts performs at the 3_Search Sense Coalescence exhibit at the Wyly Theatre, during Aurora, an interactive art exhibition in the Arts District.

Vernon Bryant/Staff photographer

The Dallas Arts District was awash in lights Friday night as part of Aurora, the immersive art exhibition.

This year’s event is presented by the AT&T Performing Arts Center and supported by presenting sponsor energy provider Reliant. Its founding media partner is The Dallas Morning News.

In introducing the event, Matrice Ellis-Kirk, the chairwoman of the AT&T Performing Arts Center said, “Aurora will change how you see art and how you see Dallas.”

Bringing the public and art together was what the 80 artists from 17 countries were tasked for the single night. And so early Friday morning they converged on the 19-block area of downtown Dallas to install pieces of media art that made use of light, sound and video.

The centerpiece was the “Sense/Coalescence” by 3_Search, a mapping projection installation on the Dee and Charles Wyly Theater. This is 3_Search’s second year projecting on the Wyly.

The group is a partnership between curators Leo Kuelbs and John Ensor Parker and the artist collective Glowing Bulbs.

Creating on the cutting edge: An explanation of 'media art'

Friday night was the first time the members saw the piece displayed in its entirety after 15 months of conceptualizing and creating the installation. It included three distinct segments, one which featured projection mapping that reacted to the singing from Elise Caluwaerts, an opera singer based in Atwerp, Belgium.

The music was composed by Joris Blanckaert specifically for “Sense/Coalescence.” It was hauntingly beautiful music that was recorded live and the played throughout the Arts District. The geometric designs on the building moved and flowed around the two faces of the cube as Caluwaerts sang Biblical lyrics against the orchestral music that sounded as if a great battle was about the begin.

“The sound reactive animation shows the process of being human and being alive,” said Kitzinger Gábor, a member of Glowing Bulbs, who helped to design the animations.

See more than two dozen Aurora photos in this gallery:

Aurora co-founder Joshua King said that it was overwhelming to see so many people out in support of the arts. Thousands were expected to attend the event, which was in its fourth year.

The theme for the event was “All Together Now,” something that King said could not have been done without the support from the city of Dallas.

Mayor Pro-Tem Monica Alonzo was on hand at the event and said that it was "all the love and soul that we have to present to you through the arts."

What's Happening on GuideLive