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Mysterious Creatures & Breathtaking Art Coming to Chattanooga
Aquarium and Hunter Museum Present Jellies: Living Art

Chattanooga, Tenn. (February 24, 2009) – A new wave of excitement is coming to downtown Chattanooga as the Tennessee Aquarium and Hunter Museum of American Art team up to bring “Jellies: Living Art” to Chattanooga in May, 2009. This special exhibit showcases jellyfish, some of the most mysterious creatures on Earth, alongside breathtaking glass sculptures inspired by nature.

This exhibit embodies the spirit of the award-winning, highly rated gallery at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

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 capture the imagination as they pulse 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.

In one portion of the gallery, jellyfish displays will be paired with mirrors which will produce a visual feast for the eyes surrounding guests with an endless swarm of moon jellies. In other areas, slowly pulsing sea nettles will dance a watery ballet. Blubber jellies will strike a chord with those who imagine what it’s like to venture to another world - the ocean realm.

“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.”

These delicate and mysterious creatures of the deep have intrigued people and fueled artistic expression for centuries. Guests will marvel at the way artists, like world-renowned Dale Chihuly, infuse glass with striking colors and patterns while creating works that appear to flow with a graceful motion and rhythm. Works from Chihuly’s “Macchia” series will be on display at the Aquarium along with other stunning works from artists Stephen Powell, Cork Marcheschi and Thomas Spake.

“We have some very interesting works of art to compliment the animal exhibits,” said Andrews. “I believe Aquarium visitors will be surprised and intrigued by the relationship of art and nature found in our exhibit."

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. Among the dazzling array of works will be one of Dale Chihuly’s spectacular chandeliers.

“The Laguna Murano actually fills an entire gallery,” said Rob Kret, director of the Hunter Museum. “There are some 1,400 pieces that make up this chandelier. Visitors will also see a number of Chihuly’s sketches which are not commonly displayed in art museums. They are very expressive, very exuberant and really fun to see.”

This collaborative effort promises to draw visitors to downtown Chattanooga who will be encouraged to relax and enjoy all that the pedestrian-friendly “Scenic-City” has to offer. 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.

“I think Jellies: Living Art represents a great opportunity to capitalize on the assets of an accredited art museum and an accredited aquarium which are located just a short walk apart from one another,” said Kret. “Cultural institutions such as ours create the opportunity for people to unplug a little bit and enjoy each other’s company while seeing something that they wouldn’t normally see. And I think this exhibit will be a magical surprise for visitors.”

Visitors wishing to complete their Jellies: Living Art experience may choose to purchase discount combination tickets for the Tennessee Aquarium, Hunter Museum and IMAX 3D Theater. “Under the Sea 3D” features stunning images of several jellyfish species as well as playful sea lions, fierce-looking great white sharks and graceful leafy sea dragons.

Contact: Thom Benson 423-785-3007 - Tennessee Aquarium –
                Katrina Craven 423-752-2070 – Hunter Museum –


The Tennessee Aquarium inspires wonder and appreciation for the natural world. Admission is $19.95 per adult and $12.95 per child, ages 3-12. Each ticket purchased helps support Aquarium conservation programs. The IMAX® 3D Theater is next door to the Aquarium. Ticket prices are $8.50 per adult and $6.00 per child. Aquarium/IMAX® combo tickets are $25.95 for adults and $17.95 for children. Excursions aboard the new River Gorge Explorer depart daily into “Tennessee’s Grand Canyon.” Advance tickets may be purchased online at or by phone at 1-800-262-0695. The Aquarium, located on the banks of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, is a non-profit organization. Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Aquarium and IMAX® are accessible to people with disabilities.


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