SEMINOLE HEIGHTS — After the sun sets Saturday, six residential blocks near Lake Roberta will light up as one big art exhibit called "Neighborhood Watch: Projection Walk."
Nine area artists will perform, showcase illuminated installations and project video images, with homeowners' permission, on the sides of half a dozen homes, all intended to get neighbors out of their houses, on the street and talking to one another.
Each piece deals with the sense of place and public and private space.
At the same time, a group of artists in El Paso, Texas, will hold a parallel Neighborhood Watch. Images from both cities will be broadcast to each other via Web cam projections.
Neighbors who talk among themselves about the art will be considered part of the art display.
"It's about the interactions around the videos," said artist Chelsea Ann Goodwin. "The whole project is an art piece in itself."
The area artists involved met as graduate students at the University of South Florida. Some have gone on to teach there. Others have moved away. But at some point, most have called Seminole Heights home.
"We're not necessarily bringing anything into Seminole Heights. We're just showing what's there," Goodwin said. "I think it's a neighborhood that's really rich. There are a lot of nooks and crannies because of the way the trees are and because of the types of people who live there."
The artists put on a similar neighborhood show in 2006. Goodwin said she saw neighbors meet for the first time. "They had a catalyst to start discussions because they were standing around and looking at the same thing."
Susan Long, president of the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association, plans to bring everyone she knows Saturday. She hopes the project will draw people from outside the neighborhood so they can see what Seminole Heights has to offer.
The show will also include a video game installation, an informal parade and a piece of artwork involving comment boxes. The art will be edgier than typical public art, Goodwin said.
"Public art, in a way, is watered down and safe," she said.
Goodwin plans to present the idea of the Neighborhood Watch project at an art conference in Chicago.
"It's something that the eclectic nature of Seminole Heights can welcome," she said. "It's a progressive neighborhood. I feel like it's been a nurturing place to begin this project."
Alexandra Zayas can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3354.