Bannerman's Big Year

Constellation Light Display Debuts at Bannerman’s Castle

Pollepel Island gears up for a star-studded evening


A rendering of McGill’s Constellation project at Pollepel Island

The night sky over our fair Hudson River is going to look a bit different from now on thanks to Beacon-based artist Melissa McGill. On Sunday, June 28, McGill debuts Constellation, a large-scale public art project set to emerge over the Bannerman Castle ruins on Pollepel Island on the Hudson.

You’ve probably heard all the buzz about the project — even the mighty New York Times is drooling over an exclusive with McGill — so what’s it all about? It took more than two years to construct the sculptural light-based project, in which McGill and her team created a magical experience employing poles, lights, and hand-blown orbs.

melissa mcgill
Constellation artist Melissa McGill. Photograph by Kate Orne

As the sun goes down on the Hudson River, 17 points of light — all at different heights — will emerge in the night sky. These starry lights will appear, one by one, along with the natural stars of the night, essentially creating a “new” constellation.

Stay tuned for the complete lowdown on Constellation and McGill in our upcoming August issue, as well as the other fun events lighting up this mysterious island this summer. Constellation can be viewed from various vantage points for two hours every night for the next two years. Opening night highlights include an introduction to the project by McGill, an ice cream truck, island tour information, and free shuttles from both the Beacon and Cold Spring train stations.

If you go...

Constellation Launch
Where: Near Bannerman’s Castle at Pollepel Island, Rte. 9D between Cold Spring and Beacon (near Breakneck train stop)
When: Sunday, June 28, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Constellation starts lighting at approximately 9 p.m.
Cost: Free

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