Debuting in Illinois Next Year - Bruce Munro: LIGHT

ROCKFORD, IL – See Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens in a new light! Internationally known artist Bruce Munro is coming to Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, 1354 N. 2nd Street, Rockford, in 2017 with a garden-wide sculpture exhibition called Bruce Munro: LIGHT. A British native, Munro is known for his large light-based sculpture installations. His sculptures have been featured in museums around the world as well as some premier U.S. public gardens such as Longwood Gardens, Atlanta Botanic Garden, Desert Botanic Garden, and Franklin Park Conservatory. The Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens exhibition is Munro’s first exhibit in the Chicago region, and visitors are expected to travel from Chicago, Madison, Milwaukee, Bloomington-Normal, Quad Cities, and beyond. Exhibit hours and costs are still being finalized. 

“Bringing Bruce Munro to Rockford really started out as a dream. Our staff saw an Instagram post in 2014 of one of his pieces, started researching his work, and were captivated by his use of light and gardens.  Early in 2016, with financial support from the Nicholas Family Foundation, our dream became real as we signed on for a 2017 exhibition. This type of world-class exhibit will shine a big spotlight on Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, and put Rockford on the map,” said Kelly Moore, Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens Facility Manager. 

About Bruce Munro: LIGHT

Bruce Munro: LIGHT will run from June 3, 2017 through November 5, 2017.  The exhibition is Munro’s eighth large-scale garden exhibition in the U.S. The Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens campus will provide a stunning backdrop for eight sculptures, including Munro’s iconic “Field of Light” and “Water-Towers.” Two new works will also debut: “Sun,” a monumental globe, suspended inside the Conservatory, and “Don’s Flamingos,” a playful homage to the designer of the pink lawn flamingo, Don Featherstone.   

“It is a great privilege to create an exhibition at Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, and I was captured by the landscape of the garden and the Rock River adjacent. Gardens are very special to me because it’s an opportunity to re-engage people with real life, with the beauty of a garden, and that sense was with me when I visited the Conservatory. Part of the aim of these garden exhibitions is to get people who aren’t necessarily familiar with a garden to visit and experience such a beautiful place to be. I love the challenge presented to me by the Conservatory, of seeking out the balance that exists between contemporary art, landscapes, and architecture,” said artist Bruce Munro.

About Bruce Munro  

British artist Bruce Munro is best known for producing large immersive light-based installations, which often employ a massing of components by the thousands. An artistic diarist, he has spent over 30 years collecting and recording ideas and images in his sketchbooks, which he returns to over time as source material. Language, literature, science, and music have also greatly influenced his work. Frequently, Bruce’s subject matter is his own experience of fleeting moments of rapport with the world and existence in its largest sense of being part of life’s essential pattern. His reoccurring motif is the use of light on an environmental scale in order to create an emotional response for the viewer. Munro’s work has been
widely exhibited, including by the Guggenheim Museum, NY; Waddesdon Manor for the Rothschild Collection, UK, and Longwood Gardens, PA. His landscape installation “Field of Light” is at Uluru, Australia through March 2017. His work is held in the collections of museums and botanical gardens internationally, including the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, UK.

Sponsorship and Volunteer Opportunities

The majority of Bruce Munro: LIGHT is funded though the Nicholas Family Foundation Endowment, although additional support in the form of sponsorships, donations, and volunteers is needed to make this exhibition truly world-class.  A variety of sponsorship levels are available, and anyone interested should contact Nicole Engelbart, Rockford Park District Corporate Partnership Manager, at 815-969-4095 or

Installation of the exhibit will take roughly four to six weeks.  Throughout the installation and during the exhibit, Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens will need volunteers to not only help create the sculptures, but to give tours.  Exact dates and times for volunteer opportunities are still being identified, but interested volunteers can head to to sign up to help.