ArtEvent: Chihuly: The Nature of Glass; Desert Botanical Garden; Phoenix, AZ; November 22, 2008 to May 31, 2009
Vibrant colors and sculptures, oh my! Phoenix's Desert Botanical Garden is offering an exhibit that can't be passed up. Dale Chihuly's passion for glass-blowing is a remarkable gift, perhaps even more remarkable because he has sight in only one eye, a fact that seems nearly impossible when you experience the beautiful, intricate, detailed world of his work. Influenced by an environment that fostered the blurring of boundaries separating all the arts, as early as 1967 Chihuly was using neon, argon, and blown glass forms to create room-sized installations of organic, freestanding, plantlike imagery.
His work is displayed in over 200 museums throughout the world including many memorable installation exhibitions: Chihuly Over Venice (1995–96), Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem 2000 at the Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem (2000) and Mille Fiori at the Tacoma Art Museum (2003). Gardens are the dominant theme in his most recent work which can be seen at Chicago’s Garfield Park Conservatory (2001), the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew (2005), the New York Botanical Garden (2006), and Pittsburgh's Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens (2007).
The picture here features my absolute favorite piece in the show. According to his website, his fascination with boats "allude[s] to his childhood in Tacoma, Washington, marked by his love of the sea and his recognition of its importance to the economy of the Pacific Northwest." Though the pictures of his work online are impressive, I really encourage you to see the show in person. The way the light shimmered through the colorful pieces created a dream-like feeling as I wandered through. Truly, not to be missed!