Lightscape Installation at the Arboretum

Kai Wetterau, Staff Writer

The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden has recently added a new art exhibition just in time for the holiday season. This installation, called Lightscape, has shown up in major cities like Chicago and London. This new local installment of the fancy light show will stay up at the Arboretum until Jan. 16, 2022.

This area where one can walk around and see the different sub-exhibits is so bright and expansive that it requires a total of 17 miles of cable just to stay active 24/7. One display includes the Fire Garden, which offers up many wire frames with tin cans set on fire. Another is the Winter Cathedral, which is built like a tunnel with many lightbulbs lighting up the night sky in a magnificent showing of grandeur.

Other performances in the installation appeal not just to the eyes, but also to other senses. One such case of this is the Singing Trees, which includes many local redwood trees covered in colorful LED lights with speakers playing angelic tunes all around. The lights are synchronized with the changes in sound, providing an impressive visual where visitors can awe in amazement.

Prices of traveling to the installation are, adults paying $30 to $32 and children 3- to 12-years-old paying in between $18 to $20. Anyone can go, as long as they buy tickets beforehand and arrive at a predetermined time. Groups can travel all around the area and do what they want for the 15 minutes allotted to them. People can even get a free ride and parking from the Santa Anita Park race track. VIP tickets are more costly but let groups arrive and enter whenever they want, with express waiting lines for them to go in earlier than others. Those with these special tickets also get even better parking options and don’t have to pay any service fees when booking.

Lightscape is best viewed during the later hours of the night, when the sky is darkest and the exhibitions are best illuminated at the present location. An example of this is the Cathedral of Light, which is another tunnel looking installment featuring over 100,000 bright LED globes which are all fairly small. The entire structure is shaped like the arched windows of a traditionally built church, making it a romantic spot for local couples.

The final showing of Lightscape is one gigantic field covered in lights with no particular order; they surround a fountain and turn an assortment of colors. Parts of these works of art also are lined up with beautiful classical music, with certain sections turning on and off with parts of the melody. This entire colorful spectacle is something people love and look forward to, as is the case with freshman Rohan Thakur.

“I just loved the different look of each and every installation, it was all the best,” he remarked. “The ending gave my family and I such a good time that it almost makes me want to go again.”

Lightscape was created by a company called Raymond Gubbay, and is a monument to their success. The chief development officer, Joni Marks, publicly announced the majesty of the Fire Garden, being one of the first things visitors see when coming in.

“Fire is the most primitive form of light,” said Marks. “I think this is a very contemplative place.”

Lightscape is something to be amazed at, and it attracts visitors from all over to see the already blossoming Arboretum. Filled with sights and sounds that can satisfy anyone, this show is definitely worth going to.