Light Projection at Garfield Park Conservatory
On the evening of June 30, 2011, a hailstorm shattered an estimated 65,000 panes of glass covering the roof of the Garfield Park Conservatory. The resulting devastation left floors and botanical displays blanketed in broken glass. Thousands more shards hung dangerously overhead. The Conservatory closed its doors to the public temporarily while clean-up and repairs began.
To memorialize this catastrophic event—and presumably to bring awareness to continued fund-raising and restoration efforts—the Chicago Park District has commissioned local artist Annette Elliot to create a light installation on the Conservatory’s century-old dome. Titled “Light Projection,” the installation will “illuminate and animate” the dome each night for one week, beginning at dusk on Saturday, June 30, and ending at dawn on Sunday, July 8.
Elliot’s projected images will mimic fissures of broken glass. The crack-like illuminations projected onto the dome’s surface will be visible from the surrounding neighborhood and the nearby Green Line. In a statement Elliot said, “The radiant space of the dome should be seen as the persistent presence of light within a dark space.”
The Conservatory’s showrooms are open again to the public. But the work of replacing the temporary polycarbonate roof sheeting with more permanent materials is ongoing. The roofs of the propagation greenhouses are being restored this summer while the display houses are scheduled for permanent restoration in summer 2013.
To help save the conservatory and contribute to continued repair efforts, visit “One Pane at a Time.”