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Tucson artists feature extraterrestrial-themed work at Phoenix festival

Phoenix Lights Festival gave artists a chance to feature work that went along with the extraterrestrial theme of the event

Inflatable dome art installations at the Phoenix Lights Festival in April 2017.

Inflatable dome art installations at the Phoenix Lights Festival in April 2017.

Sculptor and glassblower team Gregory Coye and Lindsay LeBlanc specialize in “ultra-terrestrial” art and shows series of illustrations, sculptures, and a large scale installation. The duo calls their series of work The Moment Before Awakening.

President of the ASU Neon Club and glassblower Mike Butzine reached out to the duo to feature them at Phoenix Lights festival in Chandler on April 8 and 9 because of their expertise that fit perfectly with the festival. Butzine had worked with the duo before in previous shows. 

"Glass is a crazy form of art, you have to be a risk-taker to do it," Butzine said.

The Phoenix Lights festival, named after the infamous mysterious lights spotted in the Valley skies, was most popularly advertised for the various headlining DJs and music artists such as 21 SavageTiesto and Zeds Dead. But the festival also featured multiple art installations that went along with the theme.

Three geographic blow up domes were still vacant when Butzine reached out to the Moment Before Awakening, and the team happened to have eight or nine perfect alien entities already from a previous show.

Coye and LeBlanc relocated to Tuscon, Arizona from Boston a year ago specifically to make art because of the ideal conditions for making sculptures and building festival installations.

The portal at Backwoods. #backwoodsmusicfestival, #portal,#alienbuddhabunny, #moonrabbit, #ultraterrestrial, #coyeart,#loolooglass

A post shared by The Moment Before Awakening (@themomentbeforeawakening) on

"I came to this event to not only share my artistic journey but to also get a proper introduction to the art scene in Phoenix. I would certainly participate again," LeBlanc said.

These dome-shaped exhibits represented a shrine to Earth, a shrine to Neptune and a shrine to Mars. All three of the domes featured alien-themed art from multiple artists from around the Valley.

Coye and LeBlanc brought their alien entity sculpture from Tuscon, AZ to be featured at the festival. The piece “Moment Before Awakening” was constructed of found parts, paper mache and blown glass parts.

The duo transports art fixtures around the country showing their work at many exhibits, including 13 other music festivals. The extraterrestrial sculpture was last featured at Hulaween Music Festival in Florida and is set to be shown at Joshua Tree Music Festival in California next. 

The artists are proud have had their work shown at five of the "World's 300 Best Festivals 2017," a ranking done by

"More than anything I hope to inspire emotion, whether it's good or bad, if you feel something then I made some true art," Coye said.

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