Olbrich Home Rooted and Growing

light bulb The Installations

Blue orbs


  Spread-Spectrum Transmission

ARTIST: Lisa Rundstrom, Wichita, KS

Location: Bolz Conservatory

Spread-Spectrum Transmission is an interactive light installation that changes color based upon the viewers' movement through the environment. The term "spread-spectrum" refers to a form of wireless communications in which the frequency of the transmitted signal is deliberately varied. This results in a much greater bandwidth than the signal would have if its frequency were not varied. Here, the viewer engages with unseen forces or frequencies that directly and indirectly affect all that they encounter.


Reel with Red dots



ARTISTS: Ben Smith & Riley Hays, Madison, WI

Location: Great Lawn

Awareness is an exploration of the senses, and interiority. Drawing on the uniquely human experiences of memory, reflection, creation, growth, love and transformation, Awareness is an urgent message to use the gift of consciousness to experience life's mysteries with wonder and openness. In finding awareness, we can ask difficult questions, create, innovate, and gain a deeper understanding of the world within and around us.


close up strin of bulbs



ARTISTS: Jim Caldwell & Annette Czarnecki, Madison, WI

Location: Rose Garden

Unseen is an interactive light and sound pathway. Pairs of lighted stepping stones are matched with the sounds of nocturnal creatures that are often heard but remain unseen. Visitors interact by stepping on the stones, resulting in changing light patterns and sounds of frogs, crickets, raccoons, coyotes, whippoorwills, and owls.


red lights with blurry bulbs



ARTIST: Leland Drexler-Russell, St. Lous, MO

Location: Moonlight Meadow

Participation brings Awakening to life! Curious artifacts stir upon your presence, leading you through an enchanted trail in the Moonlight Meadow. At first, a small set of patterns pulse, but as the structure is approached, proximity sensors cause other pattern sets to be activated until the full sculpture is revealed. The sculpture honors gardens and manicured ecosystems and asks you to consider how your impact, care and intention can drastically improve your environment.


reel with tape


The Clearing

ARTIST: René Hildebrand, Germany

Location: Serenity Garden

The Cazador-del-sol (Hunter of the Sun) light installations are designed to give you moments of relaxation and pleasure amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life. They can transform your lawn into a mystical meadow that glows and never withers. Like a glowing field created from warm light and bright yellow color.


blurry lights


A Light Rain

ARTIST: Mark Penisten, Madison, WI

Location: Perennial Garden

Light is often taken for granted, but it has a profound impact on how we perceive the world. In this installation, light is used to transform the perfectly ordinary experience of water falling like rain over a small pond into something extraordinarily alien. Hidden beneath the dangling branches of the willow tree, a surprisingly surreal landscape is revealed from an otherwise familiar part of the garden.


blue tape


Growth & Change

ARTIST: Sunil Garg, Summit, NJ

Location: Perennial Garden Stream

Growth + Change, an abstract light installation, celebrates Light as a uniquely paradoxical medium. Light is a democratic medium. Metaphors linking Light to knowledge and awareness abound: "enlightenment", "bright ideas", "flashes of genius" or of "insight". We cannot see Light, but we cannot see without it. Perception of color and hue require the presence of Light. The Light spectrum fuels vegetation, growth, food and life itself. Let us light the way!


light photo


Electric Waffles

ARTIST: Paul Hayden, Hartford, WI

Location: Sunken Garden

It's honestly a bunch of squares with lights around the edge. The amusement is in the way a geometric pattern, itself made up of geometric patterns, can appear to change drastically based solely on the way the lights are programmed. The lights move and change around through a three dimensional space that looks drastically different depending on the position of the viewer.


blue orbs


Summer Concert Series | Tuesdays, June 19 - August 14

Home Garden Tour | July 13 & 14

Member Preview: Blooming Butterflies | July 18

Blooming Butterflies | July 19 - August 12

Guided Garden Strolls | Sundays, May 6 - Oct. 14

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