There is nothing “routine” about design, at least not if it’s going to attract attention and move audiences. Alexander Lehman has followed this philosophy when lighting the annual I Am Woman conference for Faith Church.
Every year, Lehman strives to give the two-day event, which takes place in both St. Louis and West Palm Beach, a visual flourish, not just through the use of brightness and color, but also with a commanding geometrical centerpiece.
“It’s something that we do working for Pastor Nicole Crank, the visionary behind this conference,” he said. “We want to wow people. So, three years ago we used scaffolding to create towers and bridges on stage. Two years ago, we had three large LED diamonds. It’s our way of strengthening the connection to the audience.”
This year, Lehman and his team technical director Marcos Machado, Jonathan Becker, Andre Quirino, Garrett Callahan, and Tim Parfitt created a giant inverted V-structure with two smaller versions of the geometrical piece over the stage. They built this stunning design element with 42 ÉPIX Strip Tour linear fixtures from the church’s own inventory, running the units on 25 channel mode, powered by ÉPIX Drive 2000 IPs.
The overhead display lent a powerful sense of dimensionality and depth to the stage. With the narrow tip of each “V” pointed upward, the three structures created an ascendent atmosphere impression, thereby reenforcing the inspirational tone of the conference.
Accentuating the overall effect of the structures was a collection of 48 other ÉPIX Strip Tours that outlined the sides of the stage and three large LED walls. The net result was a sharp, modern geometric look that supported the conferences speakers, an impressive lineup that included Real Talk Kim, Nona Jones, Heather Lindsey, along with guest performer, Comedian Tim Hawkins.
“We were originally going to add LED panels to the structure to define its edges more emphatically, but unfortunately due to COVID-related shipping delays, we had to cut that element from the structure at the last minute,” recalled Lehman. “This left us with using the strips to outline the truss to create the V structures. I wanted the ÉPIX fixtures to carry their own weight from a design perspective.
“Being able to have the ability to kill a bunch of the movers in the set and only light up the strips really felt dynamic,” continued Lehman. “During the conference, they created some powerful bold moments. They are bright enough to carry their own weight in the rig, but they can also give energy to the room with dimming effects or color chasers.”
Also contributing to the upbeat atmosphere were the aerial effects Lehman created with the 18 Rogue R1 Beam effects in his rig. Sticking to a predominantly blue and white palette, he used the beams to accent key moments at the conference without detracting from the visual impact of the V structures or the big video walls.
“When I program and design, I try to be very strategic and intentional with my looks,” he said. ” “For this event, I worked very closely with the team managing video content to ensure that this content and our lighting would look good in person but also for the online audience. We went through different styles of video content until we landed on going for a more simplistic solid color vibe on the video side and allow the lighting to be the dynamic part of the worship set and drive the energy in the room alongside the band.
“For the beams specifically I mainly kept them in either white or blue and allowed my wash rig to do all my colors,” continued Lehman. “When incorporating the beams into the design, I wanted to be able to create dramatic bold looks with them, whether they were moving or still. I’m a huge fan of using these fixtures’ prisms. I like to create a nice symmetrical look and then throw in a prism to add another layer. I am always looking to add something new.”
For I Am Woman, Lehman’s constant quest for new design elements, has resulted in the visual bar being raised higher at the conference each year. That’s an appropriate track record when lighting an event that’s built around encouraging growth.