Madison’s East Side aglow as GLEAM takes over Olbrich Gardens

GLEAM exhibit returns to Olbrich Gardens
Published: Oct. 11, 2022 at 5:15 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Large scale light-installations are once again taking over Madison’s Olbrich Botanical Gardens this fall.

The annual outdoor art exhibit GLEAM is created by designers from across Wisconsin, the region and around the world.

“For some people it’s a yearly tradition,” Olbrich Botanical Gardens public relations and marketing coordinator Tom Fullmer said.

Art-lovers visiting the grounds will make their way through a .67-mile loop that features nine installations brought together by collaborative teams of professionals, lighting designers, marketing specialists and horticulturists.

“It’s an original art exhibit that we create from scratch each year, we invite artists to come in and create site-specific art installations that use light as a primary medium,” Fullmer explained. “You’ll come into the gardens and you’re going to walk around in the dark and see a lot of crazy strange things lighting up and catching your eye as you walk through.”

The first GLEAM exhibit was held in 2015 open for viewing just two nights a week, generating roughly 7,000 visitors. Fast forward to 2022, the outdoor experience is open four nights a week, with what Fullman says will be a record number of visitors.

“It’s breathtaking to see how many people come through,” Fulmer said. “I mean we’re on track to have over 34,000 people come through in two months.”

GLEAM has become the Garden’s largest fundraiser of the year, with all of the proceeds supporting the mission and daily operations of Olbrich Botanial Gardens.

The large-scale light installations will be available for viewing through Oct. 29. Advanced ticket times are required. To see available time slots, see here.

GLEAM takes place Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison.

Tickets for the general public cost $15, for Olbrich members tickets are $11. Admission for children ages 6-12 is $7 and those five and under can attend for free.

If you do not have internet access you may call 608-246-5616 for assistance! To learn more about GLEAM at Olbrich Gardens, visit

Olbrich Gardens is also calling all artists and lighting designer for GLEAM 2023! They are now accepting large scale, light-based installation proposals.

GLEAM exhibit returns to Olbrich Gardens through Oct. 29

Click here to download the NBC15 News app or our NBC15 First Alert weather app.