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GLEAM logo

GLEAM, Art in a New Light, is an annual public art exhibit featuring light-based installations throughout Olbrich's 16-acre outdoor gardens created by local, national, and international artists.

GLEAM returns for its 5th year at Olbrich Gardens BIGGER and brighter than ever! New for GLEAM this year: a large-scale interactive sculpture on the Great Lawn, unique video mapping, and a neon-based installation! Creators from around the country, including some local Burning Man artists, transform the Gardens after dark into an illuminated world of wonder.


The Installations


The Artists



What People Are Saying

“My favorite event of Madison every year!”

"Very nice evening in the dark...you see everything with different eyes."

"Gets better each year!"



Visitors under the Donor's Arbor


Evening Viewings

August 28 - October 26*

Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, & Saturdays

September - 7:30 - 10:30 p.m.

October - 6:30 - 9:30 p.m.

2019 Exhibit EntranceAdmission available onsite only (no presale or online tickets sales) starting when the exhibit opens each night. To avoid lines, arrive later in the evening. The exhibit takes around 1 hour to view in its entirety. Last admission sold 30 minutes prior to exhibit close.

* Sept. 27 & Oct. 4 - GLEAM will only be open to CRACKLE event attendees

CASH Bar available every Friday & Saturday evening. Enjoy a beer, wine, or cocktail as you stroll the Gardens and take in the magic!

Weather Policy

GLEAM will run rain or shine. If dangerous weather is forecasted and we decide to cancel GLEAM for the evening, we will make that call by 3 p.m. and post it on the homepage of this website and on the Olbrich Facebook page.


Admission Prices

Dome installationAdmission is sold at the door the night of the event.

General Public                      Olbrich Members

$15 - Adult                                  $11 - Member Adult

$7 - Child (Ages 3-12)                $6 - Member Child

Free - 2 & Under                         Free - 2 & Under


Parking Information

Olbrich Botanical Gardens has limited parking during the construction of the Gardens' new Learning Center. Please review the alternative parking options prior to arrival in case that Olbrich's lot is full. Thank you for your patience!


For the enjoyment of all guests, tripods are not allowed in the gardens during GLEAM evening viewings. Monopods are allowed. Tripods will be allowed during the GLEAM Exclusive Photo Shoots.




2020 Request for Proposals

Interested in submitting a light installation proposal for Olbrich's 2020 GLEAM exhibit?

Review the REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS guidelines and then WOW the GLEAM team with your

brilliant idea!

All materials should be submitted digitally, in a combined PDF format, by 11:59 p.m. on February 21, 2020.

For an overview of previous exhibits, check out the installation images below:

2015- 2018 GLEAM Installation Images


Classes, Workshops & Guided Walks


Guided GLEAM Walks with David Wells

Explore GLEAM, Art in a New Light, with David Wells, Gallery Director for Edgewood College. During these exclusive evening guided walks, he will provide in-depth information about the art installations, their inspiration, and the artists who created them. He will also discuss additional special garden lighting effects, the process of creating the exhibition, and share stories about the installation process and the unseen bumps and considerations along the way in creating the final audience experience of this year's GLEAM exhibit.

Tuesday, October 15, 6:30-8 p.m.

Registration Deadline:  October 14

Cost:  $18/$14 member |  Course Number: 31-18

Click here to find out more about our GLEAM educational programming.



Olbrich's Tram will not be running during GLEAM evening viewing hours. Most GLEAM installations are viewable from some vantage point along brick pathways which are wheelchair and stroller addessible.


2019 Supporter

Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison

2019 Media Partner

Capital Newspapers/Madison.com


Interested in supporting this exciting, public art exhibit?

Contact Special Projects Manager, Missy Jeanne, to learn more about the great benefits and recognition opportunities GLEAM sponsors receive!

608-246-5616 / mjeanne@cityofmadison.com


String Lights


Project Collaborators

Paul Hayden, Lead Lighting Designer

Olbrich partners with Reinders Inc., a local company that carries one of the largest inventories of professional landscape lighting products in the Midwest. Paul Hayden serves as Lead Lighting Designer for the exhibit, overseeing the lighting component of each installation, and assisting in the procurement of lighting supplies. Reinders works with the very best manufacturers in the industry and currently uses Olbrich Gardens as a test and training site for area lighting designers during the peak growing season.

Kristin "Cricket" Redman, principal and Creative Director of Cricket Design Workss, a creative agency and B corporation based in Madison, WI and serving clients across the country.

Zach Zweifel, Co-Owner, Traditions Lighting -

Founded in 2011, Traditions specializes in Christmas lighting and holiday decor, low voltage landscape lighting, and event lighting, providing services across Wisconsin. Traditions Lighting combines high quality products with a unique design and personal touch taking pride in the ability to produce eye catching designs that meet client needs.

Dave Morrison - Wisconsin Burners

Bruce Winkler, Innovation Strategy - New product development, Innovation, “WoW” factor, it’s about making ideas happen. GLEAM exhibit entry way design. www.brucewinkler.com

Jeff Epping, Director of Horticulture

Jeff Epping has been Director of Horticulture at Olbrich Botanical Gardens for more than 20 years. He oversees the horticultural operations and garden designs of more than ten inspirational display gardens, showcasing the best plants for south-central Wisconsin. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Jeff holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Ornamental Horticulture. He worked at the Chicago Botanic Garden before joining the staff at Olbrich and has visited, studied and photographed gardens throughout the U.S., U.K., Netherlands, South of France and Thailand.

Aaron Wilkie, Olbrich Botancial Gardens, Garden Facilitator



GLEAM: Art in a New Light | Wed, Thur, Fri, & Sat Evenings thru Oct. 26

Guided Garden Strolls | Sundays, May 5 - October 13

Cocktails in the Conservatory | Friday, November 15

Member Preview: Holiday Express | Friday, December 6

Holiday Express Flower & Model Train Show | Daily, Dec. 7 - Dec. 31

Olbrich Botanical Gardens is operated as a public-private partnership between the City of Madison Parks Division and the Olbrich Botanical Society.
Olbrich Botanical Gardens | 3330 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI 53704. | Phone: (608)246-4550 | Fax: (608)246-4719