Friday, May 15, 2009

Jellies: Living Art Now Open!

Welcome to the Tennessee Aquarium's newest gallery - "Jellies: Living Art." When visitors come down the ramp from the Secret Reef, they are drawn into the space by the brightly colored macchias by glass artist Dale Chihuly. These works were inspired by sea forms such as jellyfish, but look carefully and you'll also envision sponges and giant clams. Macchia is an Italian word meaning spotted and these works are wonderfully spotted with very lively colors.

Another visual treat is the display of upside-down jellyfish. In this video clip you'll see one that's "right-side up." Normally this species of jellyfish lounge in the sun on their backs. They have algae in their tissues that need sunlight to produce food.
Speaking of food, an interactive display helps people understand the way jellies eat and function. There are also numerous fact-filled interpretive panels and videos.
Senior aquarist Sharyl Crossley says the blubber jellies might be everyone's favorites. They are brightly colored, very active and somewhat comical.

Cork Marcheschi's glass art glow with a "living light" display inside the Aquarium right next to Sea Walnuts that appear to produce a living light show of their own. We encourage everyone to bring their cell phones. Five new stops have been added to the Aquarium's bi-lingual cell phone audio tour. Four stops in Jellies: Living Art allow you to hear from each of the artists as they describe their work and how nature fueled their artistic expression.

The gallery is filled with six different jellyfish species alongside works by four glass artists. The experience continues at the Hunter Museum where more glass installations can be enjoyed.

No comments: