During 2017’s first Walk All Over Waterloo monthly art walk event, Waterloo Arts hosts an opening reception for the Fifth Annual DayGlo Show from 5 to 10 p.m. this Friday, Jan. 6. Each year, the Cleveland-based DayGlo Color Corporation donates gallons of its unique paint to artists throughout Northeast Ohio. The artists use the paint to create original, two- and three-dimensional artwork, and the gallery is lit with ultraviolet (black) light, creating an electric environment.
“We are so excited about the DayGlo Show,” says Leanne Kocian, DayGlo’s Human Resources Manager. “Our traditional markets include industrial applications such as safety, plastics, coatings and packaging, so being able to see artwork which utilizes our color is really mind-blowing. It takes DayGlo to another dimension, especially when you see it under black light. It’s also awesome to be able to support and connect with the local artist community.”
For the exhibition’s first three years, the DayGlo Color Corporation teamed up with Tremont’s Doubting Thomas Gallery and local artists to annually light up Cleveland’s dark winter months with ultraviolet (black) light and a full spectrum of glowing, fluorescent paint. Last year, organizers moved the show to Waterloo Arts to accommodate more artists and a larger audience.
“I enjoy doing the DayGlo Show because by pairing the DayGlo Color Corp with Cleveland artists, this exhibit honors the art and industry that made Cleveland great in the past and celebrates the artists who are today playing a central role in revitalizing the city,” says Waterloo Arts Executive Director Amy Callahan. “It was actually because of art that Rob and Joe Switzer, the founders of DayGlo paint, originally moved their small fluorescent paint company from California to Cleveland. They went into business with Continental Lithograph and worked with artists to create movie posters for Warner Bros Pictures. I love that this exhibit circles back to that history.”
The Dayglo Color Corporation began humbly with two brothers, Bob and Joe Switzer, who were experimenting with ways to make colors brighter. Accidentally, they found the colors had a unique “glowing” effect under ultraviolet light. Early on, these new paints found their way into magic and stage shows, as well as promotional posters for films. However, by the 40s, the Switzer brothers were working on colors that would “glow” in daylight for efforts during World War II.
The company itself was founded in 1946. In the 1960s, the company officially changed its name from Switzer Bros. to DayGlo Color Corporation. Today, the term DayGlo is synonymous with fluorescent paint. The company’s headquarters is located at 4515 St. Clair Ave, and it has production facilities in Twinsburg as well as California and Belgium.
The Fifth Annual DayGlo Show remains on view through Feb. 12. Waterloo Arts hosts a DayGlo A GoGo Dance Party from 5 to 10 p.m. during next month’s Walk All Over Waterloo on Feb. 3. February’s event features DayGlo face painting, hairspray and crafts, as well as glowing cocktails.
(Waterloo Arts) 15605 Waterloo Rd., 216-692-9500, waterlooarts.org.