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GLEAM, Art in a New Light

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Event History

In 2018, the Olbrich Botanical Gardens is hosting the fourth annual GLEAM exhibition. The exhibit has been growing in popularity, with attendance doubling since the pilot year.

Image Usage Rights

OBS shall maintain images and information about the exhibition and the Designer’s installation on OBS’ website and use said images for marketing and in items for sale at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Designer grants OBS any and all licenses as necessary for OBS to have the right to do so in perpetuity. Designer acknowledges the stipend is sufficient consideration for such a license.

The Olbrich Botanical Society seeks proposals for GLEAM, Art in a New Light scheduled for display from August 25 – October 27, 2018.  GLEAM 2018 is the 4th annual light-based installation exhibition at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. In 2018, the GLEAM team will consider proposals for a total of 7-9 installations with budgets of different sizes.

Works will be situated within the gardens’ landscape or conservatory. Light must be a major component of each proposal in order to achieve a dynamic evening / nighttime presence. Light artists and designers should submit a site-specific proposal. All proposals will be considered equally. Proposals need realistic budgets covering all aspects of participation in the project. A total exhibition budget of $38,000 will be divided between proposals with the goal of enlivening as much of the garden landscape (16 acres) as possible.

Olbrich Botanical Gardens is working in partnership with Reinders, Inc. (  Reinders carries one of the Midwest's largest inventories of professional landscape lighting products and has strong partnerships with the very best manufacturers in the industry. Selected light artists and lighting designers will have the opportunity to review lighting specs with a Reinder's representative for potential budget savings.

Artists need previous experience with illuminated installations, projections and/or lighting design concepts, preferably involving outdoor installations. Undergraduate students are not eligible and traditional object based sculpture will not be considered.

Submissions Checklist

  • Project Proposal: Outline of idea, scale and materials including description, drawings and estimated or preliminary budget
  • Artist Resume: Complete resume
  • Work samples: Maximum of three images and information showing comparable projects or previous work that illustrates artist’s ability

All materials should be submitted digitally, in a combined PDF format (proposals submitted with multiple attachments will not be considered), to David Wells Creative Services, by 11:59 p.m. on the date of deadline.

Proposal Guidelines

Light-based installation projects of compelling scale are to be illuminated within 16 acres of outdoor gardens.  As you prepare the proposal consider the many aspect/angles of light; Reflective materials, Shadows, Altering the Gardens’ landscape with lighting, Projection mapping, Color theory, Kinetics - motion or the illusion of, Transmission of light through a medium, Accompaniment of soundscapes.

  • Interactive components/aspects are encouraged.
  • Consider to the continuous flow of visitor traffic when designing installations involving motion sensors. Visitors may approach installation from a variety of angles, avoid directional specific.
  • Project must be weather worthy for Midwestern autumn conditions: rain, wind, frost, etc
  • Electrical components must be contained in outdoor rated dry boxes or an acceptable alternative.
  • Project must be stable and safe for public audiences of all ages.
  • Installations located over or in the Gardens’ water features must use proper conduit to ensure safety and functionality.
  • Project must be able to function on outdoor timers scheduled for specific days of the week and times of day.

Stipend (variable, within $38,000 total) will include all aspects of project; Design, Equipment including lighting fixtures, controller, wiring, etc, Creation, Transportation / Travel, Labor to install and de-install, Maintenance/repair/parts replacement

Artist/Lighting Designers receive 50% of the agreed upon stipend in May after the final proposal (including technical specs) has been approved. The remaining 50% of the stipend will be provided after the install is completed in August.

Selection Process & Timeline

Proposal Deadline: February 16, 2018
Notification of Finalists: March 1, 2018
Final Artist Proposal Deadline w/ lighting specs: May 21, 2018
Installation: August 13-17, 2018 (weekdays only)
Volunteer Training – August 22, 2018 (trial run for exhibit)
Exhibition Opening Event:  August 25, 2018
Exhibition run: August 29 – October 27, 2018
De-installation:  October 29-November 2, 2018 (weekdays only)

For more information about this opportunity, please visit the Event Website.


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