Summer Exhibit Will Illuminate Cheekwood

Cheekwood officials hope this summer will break attendance records that were set in 2010 with the help of Dale Chihuly’s glass sculptures. Once again, they’re betting on the draw of outdoor art and keeping the gardens open even after the sun goes down.

"Field of Light" will be insalled near the mansion. Credit Mark Pickthall

“Field of Light” will be insalled near the mansion. Credit Mark Pickthall

Cheekwood officials hope this summer will break attendance records that were set in 2010 with the help of Dale Chihuly’s glass sculptures. Once again, they’re betting on the draw of outdoor art and keeping the gardens open even after the sun goes down.

Light will be just the second American showing of British artist Bruce Munro’s huge, fiber optic installations. For instance, he plans to fill a hillside in front of Cheekwood’s mansion with 20-thousand delicate flower-like lights.

Cheekwood CEO Jane Offenbach says previous success of Chihuly–and outdoor exhibits of fanciful treehouses and model trains–have shown that people want to see art incorporated into the gardens.

“As soon as people understand what this is and become aware of it, we expect attendance to be at a high from the moment this exhibition opens all the way through.”

Munro plans to place his 40 colorful "Water-Towers" in a part of the garden devoted to particularly colorful blooms. Credit Hank Davis

Munro plans to place his 40 colorful “Water-Towers” in a part of the garden devoted to particularly colorful blooms. Credit Hank Davis

And Offenbach hopes that snagging Bruce Munro sends a message to the rest of the art world that Cheekwood is newly serious about being a national player. The artists’ first show in the US garnered national attention this summer—and more than 300-thousand visitors to the garden near Philadelphia that played host.

Light will open in late May and run through early November, with extended evening hours three times each week.

The 1650 piece "Light Shower" will hang from the ceiling of Cheekwood's Loggia. Credit Corriette Schoenaerts

The 1650 piece “Light Shower” will hang from the ceiling of Cheekwood’s Loggia. Credit Corriette Schoenaerts


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