The multi-purpose room at the Academy Art Museum in Easton, MD, is used for events such as lectures, musical presentations, children’s performances, and banquets, and is rented out for small weddings, anniversary, and office parties. In the past, other spaces in the Museum used track lights for general and accent lighting, but Board members wanted more theatrical effect lighting for the Museum’s changing, multipurpose functions. They did not, however, want to increase maintenance burdens with the refocusing of conventional spotlights.
After a visit to a demo at the Kennedy Center, museum director Chris Brownawell and the Museum’s Board members were convinced that automated lighting was the way to go. They installed four ETC Source Four Revolution® automated luminaires instead of the standard theatrical pipe grid. Due to the size of the room and the classic feel of the building, aesthetics were a priority. A cluttered pipe grid with multiple fixtures and extension cables would have been unacceptable. Instead, white Revolutions were mounted directly to the ceiling. "The fixtures just disappeared into the room. People don’t even notice them," says Paul Makosky, a programmer at the museum.
With their new Revolutions, Museum facilities technicians can set up a variety of preset lighting looks for different events and change these presets without having to climb a ladder to do the same. The multipurpose room can be configured in several ways depending on the event, and the Revolutions allow for fast and accurate formatting. Features such as color and diffusion can be added, which would have been difficult to implement for traditional lighting without prior planning. Control of the Revolutions is performed by a ETC Unison® LCD station that has been configured to allow any person with little or no training to select a preprogrammed look. "This is so much more convenient than climbing a ladder or pushing fixtures with a long stick to change looks," says Janet Hendricks, education coordinator. All of the Revolutions’ functions are also available under a passcode on the same LCD that allows the facility to alter the publicly available presets.
Art museum environments are also particularly concerned with noise moderation. Since Easton’s multipurpose room is relatively small, any peripheral noise would disrupt performances and lectures. After the demonstration at the Kennedy Center, the Board members knew that Revolutions would be the right choice for their museum. The Revolutions run virtually silently, without the motor and fan noise that most automated fixtures produce.