What We Fund
Fog Sculpture by Fujiko Nakaya
Located across the footbridge outside Louisiana Children’s Museum
When visitors approach the Louisiana Children’s Museum (LCM) in New Orleans City Park, they’re welcomed across a footbridge by an ethereal sculptural fog environment—the first permanent installation by Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya in the American South and only the second in the U.S. This significant commission was underwritten in full by The Helis Foundation.
Every half hour, the fog mist emerges and envelops guests crossing and lingering on the footbridge. The fog sculpture is in a constant state of change: The mist shifts and changes depending on the temperature, humidity and wind.
Nakaya’s installation complements the museum’s focus on water and the ecology of coastal Louisiana. The new 56,000-square-foot facility features an experiential floating classroom on the lagoon’s edge in the wetlands environment and a Mighty Mississippi exhibit which tells the story of the journey of the River from Lake Itasca, Minnesota, through St. Louis and Memphis all the way to the Port of New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico.
LCM was also designed to support the natural ecosystem in which it is located and make the best use of natural resources. The lagoon, of which the footbridge crosses, was restored to include freshwater and brackish wetland environments. Plus, a 15,000-gallon cistern collects rainwater from the roof for watering the gardens.
About the Artist
In 1970 Fujiko Nakaya, working as part of the legendary group Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.), enveloped the Pepsi Pavilion at the 1970 World Exposition in Osaka in vaporous fog, becoming the first artist to create a sculptural fog environment. Nakaya’s sculptures have since been presented all over the world from the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao to the Australian National Gallery in Canberra to the grounds of the Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan, Ct. The Louisiana Children’s Musuem exhibit is her first project in the American South, and only second permanent installation in the United States. In 2018, Nakaya was awarded the prestigious Praemium Imperiale award, a global arts prize presented annually by the Japan Art Association.