Earlier this fall I learned that a beautifully unexpected art installation would be making its way through Des Moines. For a few short days, the colorful Luminarium popped up in downtown’s Cowles Commons for the community to explore.
Created by the United Kingdom-based Architects of Air, the Luminarium is an inflatable wonderland of color and light. The group has been creating the unique sculptures since 1992. And with the Des Moines installation, they certainly did not disappoint.
To ensure we’d be able to explore the installation we purchased our tickets ($5 per person) ahead of time for a 30-minute time slot. After removing our shoes, we wandered into the luminarium, not quite sure what to expect. Once inside the inflatable installation, the piece looks completely different from its exterior. Lit solely by natural light, the towering sculpture glowed bright reds, blues, and greens, created by different colored plastics.
This particular sculpture was the 22nd created by the group and was named “Arboria” after the installation’s tree theme. We spent more than half an hour wandering the intricate tunnels and relaxing within its private nooks and crannies. Upon entering, volunteers encouraged visitors that the luminarium is a quiet place for relaxation and reflection, which is something we could probably all use a bit more of lately.
Share Your Thoughts
I would love to hear from you! Have you ever experienced an art installation like this? See if the Luminarium is coming to a city near you.