Jelly Art in Tennessee

jellyartI’ll always remember the first time I saw living jellyfish. I was on a field trip out on Monterey Bay for one of my biology classes. The boat went through a school of them and we could see them just below the surface. It was truly surreal. It looked like someone had put a large painting just beneath the water. They just didn’t look real.

Jellyfish at the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay
Close up of blown glass art at the Bellagio

Flash forward, and I’m on vacation in Las Vegas with my husband. One of the hotels has an aquarium that includes a hypnotizing display of jelly fish (pictured here — yes, it’s real). That same trip I remember looking at the blown glass display at the Bellagio and thinking they looked like jellyfish.

Coming in May, at the Tennessee Aquarium and Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, Tenn., an art show will feature special exhibit of jellyfish alongside breathtaking glass sculptures inspired by nature.

According to the press release, “visitors to the Aquarium’s Ocean Journey building will find themselves immersed in a glimmering world of animals and art.” Six species of jellyfish will be showcased in specially designed exhibits beside striking studio glass. “The exhibit is designed to illustrate how the jellyfish and the art share common characteristics of color, pattern, movement and rhythm.”

Another cool-sounding feature: There will be jellyfish displays paired with mirrors, surrounding guests with an endless swarm of moon jellies.

“Jellies have this ethereal, other worldly quality to them,” said Jackson Andrews, the Aquarium’s director of husbandry and operations. “That’s the presence we try to create throughout the ‘Jellies: Living Art’ exhibit. These animals will appear to float in space as they do in the ocean and the effect is just mesmerizing.”

Artists featured in the exhibit include Dale Chihuly, Stephen Powell, Cork Marcheschi and Thomas Spake.

At the nearby Hunter Museum of American Art, ‘Jellies: Living Art’ will be enhanced and extended by the glass art in the Hunter’s galleries.

The Tennessee Aquarium and Hunter Museum are located on the Chattanooga riverfront and linked by a short walking corridor which leads guests through an outdoor sculpture garden and across a unique glass bridge.

Admission to the Tennessee Aquarium is $21.95 per adult and $14.95 per child, ages 3-12. Advance tickets may be purchased online at

For more information about the Hunter Museum, visit their website at

Click on the images above to see a larger view.

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About the author

As The Genre Traveler, Carma Spence loves to view the world through Genre-Coloured glasses. In other words, she sees the world through a lens of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, where trash cans can be Daleks in disguise and neighborhood forests can harbor faeries and sprites. Magic realism is real! Or at least you can choose to see the world that way to add to the fun and awe of life.

1 comments on “Jelly Art in Tennessee”


    That sounds like something you should be sure not to miss. I have seen Dale Chihuly’s works in other places like Las Vegas before, and some of the things he creates are amazing!

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