After being in Tennessee for less than a week I got my first opportunity for a review! Yay me! One of mine and Husband’s favorite Nashville attractions is Cheekwood Art and Gardens, so when I was offered the job of reviewing their new exhibit, Light, I made plans to go immediately.
Light is an exhibit by Bruce Munro that uses various materials (including recycled plastic bottles) and hundreds of miles of glowing optic fibers to light up the grounds of the botanical gardens. Exploring the hundreds of acres during the day is a beautiful and relaxing experience, but seeing them transform to an iridescent field of flickering lights is awesome.
My plan was to arrive to Cheekwood before sunset, see the grounds in the daylight, at dusk and at dark. We left with plenty of time, but as we arrived we were greeted by Cheekwood staff before we even reached the gates. They told us that all the lots were full and we would have to park at a church 5 miles away! There, a shuttle would pick us up and transport us to the gardens. The gardens were so full, that there were two large churches 5 miles away that were being used for parking.
Irritated, we drove to the church, parked and waited with dozens of other people. There were so many people waiting that we actually had to take the second shuttle. I have never seen Cheekwood so crowded.
We did eventually make it by dusk and quickly met up with our friends. The lights are okay in daylight, but this is a show that you really must wait until dark to see. (Yes, Mom-in-law, I’m talking to you…)
There were signs with arrows telling us which direction to walk, thank God. We never would have made our way around in the dark without directions. There were also several booths along the walk that sold sodas, wine, chips and even ice cream. It’s probably best to make a whole night out of this exhibit. Bring cash, good shoes and take your time.
Even though the grounds were more crowded than ever, it didn’t bother us while walking around. Cheekwood is so enormous that it never felt as crowded as it must have been. There was plenty of space for the live jazz band, the dancing guests, kids doing cartwheels, babies in strollers, couples holding hands and tipsy people to stumble on the sidewalks. My photos do not do this exhibit justice. The bulbs, which looked like glowing tulips, seemed to go on for miles and they changed colors every few seconds creating a flowing field of lights.
The exhibit continued into the mansion/art museum. The mansion and the courtyard always make me feel as if I’m walking through Jay Gatsby’s house. There are beautiful chandeliers, winding staircases, live piano music and an unbelievably beautiful courtyard…just call me Daisy.
We had a great time walking through the gardens and checking out this new exhibit, but were famished by the time we finished touring the mansion. We made plans to have dinner together with our friends, but forgot that we had parked so far away. After waiting for a few shuttles in a long line we made it to our car over a half hour later. Even though I loved the show, I left annoyed and starving. My desperate need for chips and salsa made me forget about all those stupid lights, I could only think of getting to our car and getting dinner.
Lights is worth visiting if you are in the Nashville area, but be prepared. Either show up early so you can get a parking space, make a reservation for dinner on the premises, eat beforehand, or bring snacks. Don’t plan on getting in and out quickly. Get more info and ticket prices here.