Longwood Gardens to explore virtual reality

As “Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience,” a confluence of light, sound and imagery by Philadelphia-based Klip Collective, draws to a close on Oct. 31, Longwood Gardens’ guests will have one final opportunity to hear from its creator.

Ricardo Rivera (top right) discusses Nightscape, his light and sound installation at Longwood Gardens. Photo courtesy of Longwood Gardens.

Ricardo Rivera (top center) discusses Nightscape, his light and sound installation at Longwood Gardens. Photo courtesy of Longwood Gardens

On Friday, Oct. 7, Ricardo Rivera, and fellow artists from Klip Collective, Kevin Ritchie and Mark McCallum will chat about virtual reality and how it is changing the way we create and communicate. The session, which starts at 7 p.m. in the Longwood Beer Garden, represents the final segment of Artist & Friends, a combination of panel discussion and Q&A. The participants will also explore the immersive world of experiential installations, explaining their impact.

Nightscape was designed to help offset the temporary loss of the Main Fountain Garden – and its summer fireworks shows – during a 2½-year, $90 million revitalization project. It is on view Wednesday through Saturday evenings from 6 to 11 p.m. through Saturday, Oct. 29.

Special tickets, which include all-day admission, are required and should be purchased in advance. Admission is $27 for adults (ages 19 and up); $17 for students (ages 5 to 18); and free for ages 4 and under. Members do not require a ticket, but do require a free reservation, which can be obtained online.

Nightscape is a rain-or-shine event. If rain threatens, guests are encouraged to bring umbrellas to view the outdoor portion of the display, and comfortable shoes are recommended in any weather. Seeing Nightscape in its entirety takes more than an hour. Visitors who are unfamiliar with the gardens might want to arrive early enough to visit the display sites during daylight, which will make their nighttime transformation even more striking.

Longwood Gardens dates back to 1906, when industrialist Pierre S. du Pont purchased a small farm near Kennett Square to save a collection of historic trees from being sold for lumber. Today, it is one of the world’s great horticultural displays, encompassing 1,077 acres of gardens, woodlands, meadows, fountains, a 10,010-pipe Aeolian organ and 4.5-acre conservatory. Longwood is located on Route 1 near Kennett Square. For more information, visit longwoodgardens.org or call 610-388-1000.

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