Olbrich Home Rooted and Growing


GLEAM, Art in a New Light features a local, national and international group of artists creating light-based installations in the outdoor gardens and the Bolz Conservatory. GLEAM 2017 introduces new lighting techniques and interactive projects and allows the artists’ vivid imaginations to enrich our own. Experience the gardens after dark and be dazzled and inspired.








“GLEAM 2017 is our most ambitious illumination of Olbrich Gardens yet. Artists chosen come from Wisconsin, Nebraska, Missouri, New Jersey, and Germany bring various and stunning approaches to how light will be used to transform the gardens and conservatory, stimulating curiousity, wonder and enchantment."  

- David Wells, GLEAM Artistic Director


The Installations 

The Artists


Cycropia performerGLEAM Opening

Saturday, August 26

7:30 - 10:30 p.m.

Be the first to get a glimpse of GLEAM!

Enjoy glowing performances by Cycropia, one of the oldest continuously-operating aerial dance troupes within the United States, CASH Bar, and Meet & Greet with some of the Artists, Lighting Designers, and Artistic Director.

Visit Brown Paper Tickets to purchase your tickets today!

$20 Olbrich Members / $25 Non-member

Opening tickets available online only.


Evening Viewings                 *September 8 - GLEAM will only be open to Olbrich

August 31 - September 30                      members for Member Movie Night.

Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays                   *September 29 - GLEAM will only be open to CRACKLE

7:30 - 10:30 p.m.                                             event attendees.

Doors open and admission sales begin at 7:30 p.m. To avoid long lines, arrive later in the evening.

The exhibit takes around 1 hour to view in its entirety. Last admission is sold at 10 p.m.

October 5 - October 28

Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays

6:30 - 9:30 p.m.

Doors open and admission sales begin at 6:30 p.m. To avoid long lines, arrive later in the evening.

The exhibit takes around 1 hour to view in its entirety. Last admission is sold at 9 p.m.


Admissions are sold at the door the night of the event.

General Public                               Olbrich Members

$13 - Adult                                            $11 - Member Adult

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

Free - 2 & Under                                   Free - 2 & Under

Sunset and Nightfall times:

August 31: Sunset - 7:33 pm / Dark - 9:14 pm               October 5: Sunset - 6:31 pm / Dark - 8:05 pm

September 7: Sunset - 7:21 pm / Dark - 9:00 pm           October 12: Sunset - 6:19 pm / Dark - 7:53 pm

September 14: Sunset - 7:08 pm / Dark - 8:45 pm         October 19: Sunset - 6:07 pm / Dark - 7:42 pm

September 21: Sunset - 6:56 pm / Dark - 8:31 pm         October 26: Sunset - 5:57 pm / Dark - 7:32 pm

September 28: Sunset - 6:43 pm / Dark - 8:18 pm

close up string of bulbs


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

Night Photography - GLEAM Exclusive Photo Shoots

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

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.

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

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Explore GLEAM, Art in a New Light, with GLEAM Artistic Director David Wells 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.

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

Blue LED Tape lights


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 accessible.

VOLUNTEER - Play a Part in the Art

Current Olbrich Volunteers are invited to join the GLEAM crew. You can easily schedule your shifts online by visiting SignUp.com.

Those interested in joining Olbrich's Volunteer Crew for the first time should contact Marty Petillo at mpetillo@cityofmadison.com to enroll and schedule their GLEAM shifts.

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SVA Certified Public Accountants

In-Kind Supporters

Burst logo

Interested in supporting this exciting, educational exhibit?

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

608-246-5616 / mjeanne@cityofmadison.com

reel with red dots


Project Collaborators

David Wells, Artistic Director

David Wells is the Gallery Director at Edgewood College as well as an independent exhibit curator. In 2014, he curated Reflections: Madison for the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison. He has served on numerous jury panels and curated exhibitions for the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art; the Dubuque Museum of Art; the University of St. Catherine (St. Paul, MN); the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection (UW-Madison); the Memorial Union Galleries (UW-Madison); and numerous other exhibitions in Wisconsin and the Los Angeles region.

Jeff Epping, Director of Construction/Installation

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.

Paul Hayden and Joel Reinders, Lead Lighting Designers

Olbrich also partnered with Reinders Inc., a local company that carries one of the largest inventories of professional landscape lighting products in the Midwest. Paul Hayden and Joel Reinders served as Lead Lighting Designers 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.



Light Gaps Bolz Conservatory Exhibit - March 25-July 16

Rhapsody in Bloom - June 17

Summer Concerts in the Gardens - June 20-July 25

Home Garden Tour - July 14 & 15

Blooming Butterflies - July 20-August 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