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An Expanded “GLOW” Returns to the Exploratorium for the Holiday Season

An Expanded “GLOW” Returns to the Exploratorium for the Holiday Season

Luminous sculptures by eight artists light up the winter



SAN FRANCISCO (October 12, 2021)—This holiday season, the Exploratorium will welcome back a visitor favorite for the holiday season, GLOW: Discover the Art of Light. Opening Thursday, November 18, 2021, GLOW invites visitors to explore their curiosity about light with an expanded collection of illuminated installations and sculptures by eight artists placed throughout the museum’s spacious galleries. GLOW will run through January 30, 2022.

“We’re thrilled to be able to welcome visitors back to enjoy GLOW at the Exploratorium,” said Kirstin Bach, interim director of arts at the Exploratorium. “This year we’ve expanded the experience to include more artists, pieces, and perspectives than in years past. This collection of artworks invites wonder and inspires consideration of all the ways that light connects and intrigues us.”

Images: SEI05 by CHiKA at New York Hall of Science. Image courtesy of CHiKA; Bird in a Ribcage by Ames Palms, Image courtesy of Ames Palms


In the Black Box exhibition space, Ekene Ijeoma’s interactive installation, Peacemaker, is an interactive experience, where participants form circuits between poles to connect and activate the lights of the artwork. Ijeoma uses a human phenomenon—the human body is around 60% salty water, making it a conductor of electricity—to animate Peacemaker and activate a network of care, with the aim of upending the social and political polarization between us.

Another highlight of GLOW will be the return of Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon, suspended from the ceiling of the Exploratorium’s Gallery 3. The artwork is modeled on NASA imagery that shows every cliff and crater of Earth’s glowing satellite. At an approximate scale of 1:700,000; one centimeter represents about 7 kilometers (one inch equals about 11 miles) of the lunar surface. Visitors can get a close-up view of the moon and its geography, bask in its glow, and reflect on the moon’s long history of inspiring artists, scientists, and storytellers throughout history and across cultures. 


Image: Museum of the Moon by Luke Jerram. Image courtesy of Amy Snyder, Exploratorium


Continuing the celestial theme, artist CHiKA’s illuminated sculpture, GALAXY03, will invite viewers to gaze up into an LED galaxy and share a moment of discovery with fellow viewers. This site-specific sculpture visualizes waves of light energy passing through the people below.

“I make site-specific, interactive light installations to connect people,” says CHiKA. “My inspiration comes from living in opposite worlds—East and West, non-physical and physical, invisible and visible, latest technology and minimalism—and amidst Japanese philosophy, Zen, Taoism, visual content, light design, and experimental sound.”

Images: All the Light You See (Infinity) by Alicia Eggert. Image Courtesy of Alicia Eggert; Becoming Horizon at USC Pacific Asia Museum. Image courtesy of Peter Perigo​​​​​


Pieces by conceptual artist Nick Dong will also explore celestial themes and help illuminate Gallery 3. Becoming Horizon invites visitors to a shared space of meditative light play. This hand-crafted artwork incorporates over 100,000 hand-sewn mirror tiles, and fills the senses with motion, music, and dancing light for a joyful and calming experience. It invites contemplation of the ethereal events of the Big Bang—the universe’s origin as a hot, dense point; the explosion and rapid expansion of space; and finally, matter coalescing into galaxies. 

GLOW will also include light art by Michael Brown, neon works by Alicia Eggert and Ames Palms, and Enchanted Tree by Burt Libe, created in 1971 and one of the first artworks displayed at the Exploratorium. 

GLOW opens with a special After Dark on November 18, 2021. Check the calendar or follow the Exploratorium on social media for updates on sparkling adult and family programs to dive deeper into the joyful seasonal expansion of the Exploratorium’s iconic exhibits on light.


The Exploratorium acknowledges with gratitude our community partners: San Francisco Chronicle, SFGate, KGO/ABC7, BART, and Bay Area Parent Magazine.


Calendar Editors, Please Note: 

GLOW: Discover the Art of Light

November 18, 2021 - January 30, 2022

Light up with delight this winter! Luminous sculptures by eight artists turn up the radiance in our spacious galleries, inviting you to connect and play in the glow. Don’t miss this joyful seasonal expansion of the Exploratorium’s exhibits on light.

Explore our spacious galleries for captivating light art by Michael Brown, CHiKA, Nick Dong, Alicia Eggert, Ekene Ijeoma, Luke Jerram, Burt Libe, and Ames Palms. Then continue your journey in the Seeing and Reflections gallery to experiment with color, shadows, mirrors, and more. Check the calendar for sparkling adult and family programs, and don’t miss this joyful seasonal expansion of the Exploratorium’s iconic exhibits on light.


About the Exploratorium

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The Exploratorium is a portal to the astonishing scientific phenomena that animate our world and shape our actions. We create extraordinary learning experiences that ignite curiosity, upend perceptions, and inspire brave leaps forward. Since 1969, the Exploratorium’s museum in San Francisco has been home to a renowned collection of exhibits that draw together science, art, and human perception, and that have changed the way science is taught. Our award-winning programs provide a forum for the public to engage with artists, scientists, policymakers, educators, and tinkerers to explore the world around them. We celebrate diversity of thought, inspired investigation, and collaboration across all boundaries.

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