For anyone who gets up in the wee hours for the sunrise and thinks, wow, that was worth it, Chase Jones knows just how you feel.
While watching the sunrise every day for a year, the Florida State University art student was inspired to create the Sunrise Cube, a collaborative art piece that you can experience at a much more respectable hour this weekend in St. Petersburg and Bradenton.
The cube is actually a portable room, about 8 feet square, with one side made up of thousands of rolls of mylar, which reflect and refract light in brilliant patterns. The performances include projected light, dance and music.
"I experienced a transition from darkness to light in my own life, and realized the sunrise physically embodies that idea," Jones, 23, said as part of his mission statement on his website and blog at sunrisegoal.org.
"The majority of the sunrises we've watched have been in Florida," said Jones, who went to middle and high school in Bradenton and lives with his wife, Jayne, a Tampa native, in Tallahassee. "But we have seen many around the country, including North Carolina, Tennessee, New Mexico, Colorado and many other states."
Since he's pretty much a sunrise expert, any tips?
"Our favorite spot to watch the sunrise in the Tampa area so far is Ballast Point Park off of the pier," he said. "It is beautiful and serene."
The Sunrise Cube is on the road in Florida this summer, and Jones hopes to tour the United States in a few years to find more sunrise locations and to present the art piece.
Performances this weekend are 7 p.m. Friday at the Morean Arts Center in St. Petersburg and 1 p.m. Saturday at the Manatee Art Center in Bradenton. Performances are free. (An outside Tampa show has been canceled because of weather concerns.)
Kelly Smith, Times entertainment editor