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Ascent, the tall work of art by Jun Kaneko at 13th and P streets, is set to glow right before Christmas.

The city is planning an official lighting ceremony for 5:03 p.m. Dec. 21 -- sunset on the winter solstice, which is the longest night and shortest day of the year.

When the tower was installed in September, the interior lights that will set it off at night had not arrived.

For the past week, Commonwealth Electric staff have been putting 3,200 LED modules onto 320 panels, a tedious, labor-intensive job.

It’s like a glorified, very expensive light rope, said Matt Briggs, service manager for Commonwealth Electric Co. of the Midwest.

The panels eventually will be mounted on the inside of the 57-foot tower, back-lighting the stained glass, Briggs said.

The light fixtures, selected by Kaneko, will show the color the artist intended, he said.

Kaneko, a Japanese-born sculptor who lives in Omaha, designed the entire park, now called the Lincoln Community Foundation Tower Square.

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The park includes concentric circles around the tower, inspired by Japanese sand gardens, according to city Parks and Recreation Director Lynn Johnson.

A blue ceramic tile wall and a triangular pipe structure will serve as a stage or focal point for performances.

The lighting ceremony will include a brief program with Mayor Chris Beutler, and Kaneko is scheduled to speak.

City staff will then flip the switch to officially dedicate Ascent and Tower Square, said Johnson.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7250 or nhicks@journalstar.com. On Twitter @LJSNancyHicks.

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Reporter

Nancy Hicks reports on Lincoln city government, but she’s been following the leaders of local and state government for more than 40 years.

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