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Floating a New Idea: The Art of Jellyfish

April 14, 2002|Jane Engle

Is it an art show, an aquarium display or a flashback to the '60s?

The new exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, called "Jellies: Living Art," is a little bit of all those things. Flowing over 4,650 feet in five galleries, it presents hundreds of live jellyfish along with works of art, film and music inspired by them. Glass sculptor Dale Chihuly and painter David Hockney are among more than a dozen artists who contributed. Video montages call up imagery from Michelangelo, Dali and rave dances.

One gallery has "kind of a '60s feel with lava lamps and rock music," said spokesman Ken Peterson. In another area, visitors walk through a mirrored tunnel past more than 500 moon jellies. The show is more than twice as large as the aquarium's "Drifters," a permanent exhibit since 1996, and features worldwide species rather than just indigenous ones. But the main difference is that "the integration of art is beyond what anyone has done," Peterson said.

"Jellies: Living Art" will run through Jan. 4, 2005. It is included with aquarium admission of $17.95 for adults and $7.95 for children 3 to 12. Advance tickets are recommended for summer and holidays. (800) 756-3737, www.montereybayaquarium.org.

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