Olbrich Home Rooted and Growing

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.

Olbrich’s 5th annual GLEAM exhibit is guaranteed to be BIGGER and brighter! Never before at GLEAM - a large-scale interactive installation on the Great Lawn, unique video mapping, and a neon based installation! Creators from around the country including some local Wisconsin based Burning Man artists, transform the Gardens into an illuminated world of wonder.

Visitors at GLEAM

Be immersed in a magical world of illumination, see the Gardens

in a whole new light after dark!

Opening Viewing

PerformerSaturday, August 24

7:30 - 10:30 p.m.


NO tickets will be sold at the door.

Be the first to get a glimpse of GLEAM! In addition to being the very first to experience this year's exhibit, you'll also enjoy:

  •   Special performances from Madison Contemporary Dance & Wisconsin Burning Man Glow Dancers
  •   Cash Bar
  •   Opportunity to meet & talk with some of the artists


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!


Installation podEvening Viewings

August 28 - October 26*

Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, & Saturdays

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

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

Admission 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. 6 - GLEAM will only be open to Olbrich members for Member Movie Night.

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

Sunset and Last Light times:

August 28: Sunset - 7:38 pm / Last Light - 8:08 pm

September 4: Sunset - 7:26 pm / Last Light - 7:55 pm

September 11: Sunset - 7:14 pm / Last Light - 7:42 pm

September 18: Sunset - 7:01 pm / Last Light - 7:30 pm

September 25: Sunset - 6:49 pm / Last Light - 7:17 pm

October 2: Sunset - 6:36 pm / Last Light - 7:04 pm

October 9: Sunset - 6:24 pm / Last Light - 6:52 pm

October 16: Sunset - 6:12 pm / Last Light - 6:41

October 23: Sunset - 6:01 pm / Last Light - 6:30 pm


Admission Prices

Admission 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


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.

Night Photography - GLEAM Exclusive Photo Shoots - Sept. 17 & 24 - 7:30 - 9:30 p.m.

Photographers of all levels of expertise and equipment will be able to shoot along the outdoor gardens' paths and walkways. The exhibit will be closed to the public during these exclusive photo shoots, providing unobstructed views of the installations and allowing for the use of tripods.

Introduction to Night Photography Lecture - Sept. 12 - 6:30 - 9 p.m.

Join Madison College photography instructor John Lorimer for an exciting lecture-style class to learn the basics of night photography. This indoor class explores the necessary equipment, camera settings, proper exposure techniques, and composition ideas that will improve your success with night photography.

Introduction to Photographic Light Painting - Sept. 10 - 6 - 9 p.m.

Light painting is a photographic technique that uses simple inexpensive tools to control additive lighting applied to your photographic subjects. Through lecture, demonstration, and hands-on practice, you will learn the basics of this fascinating photography tool, including the equipment, camera settings, and exposure controls to use to achieve some dramatic results.

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


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.

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




What People Are Saying - Past Exhibits


“My favorite event of Madison every year”

Beautiful! Perspective is everything!

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

"Gets better every year!"

Haven Visitors

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

2015- 2018 GLEAM Installation Images




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


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

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

Fergus Garrett: The Spirit of a 20th Century Garden | Wednesday, September 4

Member Movie Night | Friday, September 6

CRACKLE | Friday, September 27 & Friday, October 4

Guided Garden Strolls | Sundays, May 5 - October 13

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