IMG_7277-001The Long Center is hosting the EXXOPOLIS Luminarium on their front lawn through January 27. A UK company called Architects of Air has created 20 of these luminariums over the past 20 years. Their first structure was named “EGGOPOLIS,” and so they replaced the “GG” with “XX” (for 20) to come up with this year’s name.

IMG_7278According to the designers, “EXXOPOLIS is a sculpture people enter to be immersed in radiant light and colour.” The luminarium is made of colored plastic and looks like a bunch of really cool tentsĀ  connected by walkways. Natural light flows through the plastic to create vibrant colors and interesting effects.


Bill and I waited about 20 minutes to enter–speedy by last year’s standards (last January I tried several times, but never did get inside). Everyone has to take off their shoes before entering. The structure is inflated like a bounce house, and visitors are warned to not run nor climb on the walls.


Once inside the air lock, we were free to wander around. A giant tree sculpture filled one room. The cupola had a domed ceiling with stained glass windows like a cathedral. Soothing music played in the background.


If you can ignore all the children moving underfoot, EXXOPOLIS can be a peaceful and inspiring experience. Most of the pods were occupied with people just taking in the scene. Or taking pictures, like me.

IMG_7267Bill’s reaction after leaving EXXOPOLIS was “Wow.” He claims that he was commenting on the number of dogs running around the leash-free park at Auditorium Shores, but I know better.

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