A substitute teacher from Allentown is getting her big break as an artist on the world's biggest stage -- right in the middle of Times Square.
"It's my really big break," said artist Vicki DaSilva.
DaSilva is an artist, but light bulbs are her paintbrush. The night is her canvas.
"Light graffiti is a form of drawing," she said. "It's done through photography."
DaSilva creates elaborate images by simply waving various lights around; a time-lapse camera captures their movement. She said it's a unique marriage of photography and painting.
"I really wanted to be a graffiti writer," said DaSilva. "I thought, 'Oh I want to spray paint trains.'"
DaSilva's latest photo, "Never Sorry," was shot at Easton's old Simon Silk Mill. The photo beat out 35 thousand other entries in an online contest to end up on a billboard above New York's NASDAQ headquarters.
"If you were to rent it as a commercial buyer, it would cost you $60 thousand for 14 days, for a minute every hour," said Anita Durst with Chashama, a New York-based arts non-profit. "And so the value is huge."
The billboard contest was the brainchild of ArtistsWanted, a collective that identifies emerging artists and introduces their work to the public.
"Our goal is to bring art from outside the galleries and to show it in ways that are really exciting, fun, enticing," said ArtistsWanted founder Will Etundi. "And in ways that people who normally wouldn't see art or participate, can get into it."
Much of DaSilva's work takes place right here in the Lehigh Valley. In addition to the silk mill, she has photographed at Bogert's covered bridge in Lehigh Co. and Fountain Park in Allentown.
With her sudden fame, DaSilva hopes to finally make art her full-time career.
"It's like having 30 years of publicity in about 24 hours," she said.
She hopes to prove the old adage true about New York: If you can make it here, you really can make it anywhere.
Check out DaSilva's work here: VickiDaSilva.com