Olbrich Home Bolz Conservatory


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GLEAM, Art in a New Light, returns to Olbrich with an exciting new series of illuminated art installations bringing mystery and delight to the outdoor gardens in the evening. Collaborations between artists and lighting designers create objects and effects that feature light as a dynamic physical presence. An evening wander is sure to inspire all ages as each installation engages the senses and sparks wonder!

"Inspired by ancient seeds, the magic of natural phenomena, Madison’s lakes, the Chinese Zodiac and a cultural heritage of singing, the GLEAM 2016 artists transform Olbrich Gardens into a special place of wonder, alive with enchantment and unexpected transformations." - David Wells, GLEAM Artistic Director

INSTALLATIONS - Click for information!

ARTISTS - Click for information!

LIGHTING DESIGNERS - Click for information!


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October 5 - 28

Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays

6:30-9:30 p.m.

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

The exhibit takes approximately 1 hour to view - Last admission sold at 9 p.m.

Cash bar service will be offered on Friday evenings, excluding Friday, October 14.

Evening viewing tickets will only be sold at the door the day of the event.

General Admission

  $13 Adult (13 & up)

  $7 Child (3-12)

  Free - 2 & under

Olbrich Members

  $11 Adult

  $6 Child

GLEAM will remain open in all weather conditions with the exception of severe weather.

Closure notifications will be posted on the GLEAM website page by 3 p.m. day of event.

Times of Sunset and Nightfall for the weeks of GLEAM

September 1........Sunset = 7:31 p.m. / Dark = 9:12 p.m.

September 15......Sunset = 7:07 p.m. / Dark = 8:43 p.m.

September 29......Sunset = 6:41 p.m. / Dark = 8:16 p.m.

October 12............Sunset = 6:19 p.m. / Dark = 7:53 p.m.

October 26............Sunset = 5:57 p.m. / Dark = 7:32 p.m.

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For the enjoyment of all guests, tripods are not allowed in the gardens during regular GLEAM evening viewings, monopods are acceptable.

Tripods will only be allowed during the GLEAM Exclusive Photo Shoots.


Check out the following GLEAM photography lectures and exclusive photo shoots for exclusive opportunities!

Lecture - Introduction to Night Photography

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.

Night Photography - GLEAM Exclusive Photo Shoot

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. 

For more information visit GLEAM Programs on our Education Classes webpage.

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VOLUNTEER - Play a Part in the Art

Current Olbrich Volunteers are invited to join the GLEAM crew. To schedule shifts, please go to the SignUp website at http://signup.com/go/GNtwPY

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


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.


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Madison Lighting   


Oakwood Village Prairie Ridge


SVA Certified Public Accountants

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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.



Olbrich's Holiday Express - December 3-31

Bolz Conservatory Exhibit - Maria Sibylla Merian: The Surname Expedition 1699 -1701

Children of the Rainforest - January 21

Cocktails in the Conservatory - January 27

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