Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Field of Light

  • 4801 La Cross Ave.
  • ~30 minutes from Austin
  • Cost: $20-$80
  • Runs Sept. 9-end of December 2022

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Across 16 acres of land at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, volunteers have spent each weekday morning for the past few weeks installing solar-powered bulbs into the ground. This September, 28,000 stems will fill the fields with multi-colored light, all in an effort to raise awareness for environmental conservation efforts.

The Wildflower Center, C3 Presents and British artist Bruce Munro are collaborating on the Austin launch of “Field of Light,” an immersive piece that highlights the intersections of art, technology and nature. Beginning Sept. 9, Munro will enchant guests for a four-month stint exhibit in Austin.

  • The Wildflower Center, C3 Presents and British artist Bruce Munro are collaborating on the Austin launch of "Field of Light," an immersive piece that highlights the intersections of art, technology and nature. (Courtesy: The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center)
  • The Wildflower Center, C3 Presents and British artist Bruce Munro are collaborating on the Austin launch of "Field of Light," an immersive piece that highlights the intersections of art, technology and nature. (Courtesy: The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center)
  • The Wildflower Center, C3 Presents and British artist Bruce Munro are collaborating on the Austin launch of "Field of Light," an immersive piece that highlights the intersections of art, technology and nature. (Courtesy: The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center)
  • The Wildflower Center, C3 Presents and British artist Bruce Munro are collaborating on the Austin launch of "Field of Light," an immersive piece that highlights the intersections of art, technology and nature. (Courtesy: The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center)

The piece speaks to the Wildflower Center’s own sustainability and conservation initiatives, said Catenya McHenry, the Wildflower Center’s director of marketing and communications.

“We come out here, we see nature, and we see it sometimes in the same way. But this is another way to shine a new light and give a different perspective, pun intended,” she said, laughing. “And also, to celebrate the landscape as well.”

And sustainability’s the mantra for the installation, as well. All the materials being used are made from acrylic glass and fiber optics, while the lights are solar-powered. All the elements are recyclable and were shipped in from Britain to use, before the exhibit ends and they are sent to their next destination.

For Munro, the exhibit taps into his own love for nature and his expertise in the lighting industry.

“He realized that you could change someone’s mood just by light and how something is lit,” McHenry said. “And so one of the things he really talked about was just being moved, and it being an immersive experience. He wanted people to walk away with a smile.”

Originally, Munro had launched a makeshift display in his London front yard, illuminating it each night. Over time, crowds would gather outside his yard to bask in the lights.

He recounts one evening when a woman who was dying from cancer came to see the display. Upon seeing the lights, she burst into tears.

“It’s another way to appreciate the landscapes, appreciate nature and appreciate what has been given to us,” McHenry said. “I think it’s also — we really want people to be inspired, to be better stewards of our land.”

This story is part of a KXAN series highlighting Central Texas activities — you can see our full list on our “Central Texas Things to Do” page. Do you have an idea of something we should profile? Email us at reportit@kxan.com.