Lusio Lights at the Conservatory caps off the 2019 fundraising year for the FOC

Before even stepping foot into the botanical garden, those visiting Volunteer Park Conservatory after dark on Saturday, October 19 were met with living art composed of vibrantly colored and flashing, illuminated glass. The normal green sanctuary was transformed into an electric rainbow home to music, plants, dancing, costumes, and above all– light. 

Originally conceived four years ago, Lusio Lights at Volunteer Park Conservatory put light art installation on the map in a different scene. With projection mapping and light installations often limited to music festivals and concerts, Lusio set out to expand audiences and attract a range of generations– “Rarely does this form of art get seen in Seattle and never has it been showcased in such a large setting.” Mollie Bryan, owner of Lusio shared, “Light artists weren’t treated as well as other artists, and often weren’t paid as well either.” Now light artists have the opportunity to showcase their work in a setting that is constantly changing and unique each time. 

Upon entering the Conservatory, visitors were met with a stunning display of lasers bouncing around large ferns and glowing origami flowers, while projection mapping danced on cacti and birds of light flew above the plants below. Each of the five houses of the Conservatory were filled with visitors dressed in glow sticks, LED necklaces, glitter hats, and whatever else they could come up with! As guests meandered around the tropical and subtropical collections, each turn gave way to a new form of light. 

The lively dance floor flowed into the cacti collection, where visitors could witness John J. Theroux’s Blazin Space installation firsthand. Theroux, who has worked in project mapping for five years as both a filmmaker and artist, described his work as a form of magic trick. “Once I realized that I could edit my shows live, the performance process started. I realized it was a worldwide art form and that I could learn from others. I want people to be entrenched and infused with the work.” Theroux’s piece, which centered around a large aloe, used five projectors to create a mesmerizing display. 

After walking past a large yellow circular installation that bounced light off a growing fern species, visitors reached an entrancing display of lasers reaching all the way to the ceiling of the glass greenhouse. Artists of these installations shared, “We love to use lasers in non-typical ways. They play so nicely with natural elements and are also just really fun.” 

This seems to be the theme of Lusio Lights. Where else do you get a dance floor, bar, plants, and a light show all in one? The performance is truly an experience like no other and one worth visiting each time it returns to the Volunteer Park Conservatory. Not only does it shed light on artists typically overlooked, it reminds us that playfulness is around every corner. 

Reported by Micaela Unda, Marketing Volunteer
Photos by Elsa Young

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