The Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, Arizona are really beautiful. I think they’re so beautiful, in fact, that we had our engagement photos done there by the talented and awesome SJA Studios. You can nearly always find something going on at the Desert Botanical Gardens whether it’s the Los Noches de Luminarias before Christmas, their plant sale, Dogs’ Day in the Garden, or Corks & Cactus (although, I beg to disagree with their use of the word cactus unless you’re only going to be viewing one cactus at the event!)
This time, we went while the Bruce Munro: Sonoran Light Exhibit was going on and had ourselves a little date night. I had been wanting to visit for awhile and I am so glad we finally carved out some time to go! If you’re not familiar with his work, Bruce Munro is a British artist that specializes in light-based installations on a large-scale, inspired by his interest in shared human experiences. Much of the work on display at the Desert Botanical Gardens Exhibit is made by re-purposing plastic bottles and other materials. You can read more in the “About” section on his website.
There are eight of Munro’s light displays throughout the garden using various materials and hundreds of miles of glowing fiber optics. Bruce Munro’s site-specific exhibition reflects his unique interpretation of the Sonoran Desert. Having each display located throughout the garden definitely also encourages you to wander the garden to explore and learn in addition to taking in the awesome displays. It was really packed while we were there but we managed to get some really awesome photos.
According to the Desert Botanical Garden, the exhibit features the following:
- Field of Light, featuring 30,000 individual spheres of gently blooming light nestled on the hillside of the Garden Butte, cascading down onto the Sonoran Desert Nature Loop Trail.
- Saguaro, inspired by the colossal cactus, this piece stands as a marker to show what caught Munro’s imagination during his very first visit to the Garden.
- Temperate Zone, Munro’s interpretation of the ingenious cooling pots created by the indigenous population of the Southwest hundreds of years ago.
- Water-Towers, where 58 glowing towers grace the Garden among the iconic saguaro cacti.
- Chindi, suspended in elegant form from the structures of the Sybil B. Harrington Succulent Gallery.
- Beacon, Eden Blooms and Fireflies installations will further engage in dialog with visitors and the desert landscape.
The Bruce Munro: Sonoran Light Exhibit runs through May 8, 2016 with the following hours:
- Now through February; Wednesdays through Saturdays, from 5-10pm & Sunday, February 14th (Cool Valentine’s date idea!).
- March 1st through May 8th, from 6-11pm.
If you have a membership to the garden, you can make free reservations. Otherwise, it’s $25 per adult if you go at nighttime ($30 per adult for both daytime & night visitation) and $12.50 per child ($15 per child for daytime & night visitation). Children under 3 are free.
This is something truly worth spending a few dollars and several hours of your time to explore and enjoy. Let me know if you go!