Dale Chihuly, the Seattle-based glass artist, is hard to escape. It seems like every large airport, hotel, and hospital in the country have at least a few pieces of his distinctive flower- or sea-life-themed glass work on display. And now, a new installation is being added to that total.
“CHIHULY,” a new exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden, will combine more than twenty individual installations with the garden’s carefully cultivated beauty. Tumbled glass ice in the fountains echo the ethereal blue-green of weathered bronze in vivid translucence. Spiky, complicated sculptures among the plantings speak of strange, alien trees and flowers. A glowing display of hand-blown multicolored lightning crackles along the Enid A. Haupt Courtyard’s reflecting pool. And all of it, obviously, the work of that singular artist.
Chihuly worked with the New York Botanical Garden for two years to plan and craft the project. Some of the pieces are new, others are works of his from the last four decades of his artistic career.
Along with the artworks, the New York Botanical Garden will host a number of events to take advantage of their collaboration with the artist. Their annual plein-air events will be themed around the glass works, both their invitational with a number of invited professionals and their plein-air drop-ins, which are open to anyone with a brush and a will. “Nature’s Sculptures,” their children’s program, will use Chihuly’s sculptures as a jumping-off point to teach children about basing art on nature.
On Saturdays and Sundays through October 29th, the New York Botanical Garden will air short films about Chihuly’s creative process, including some of his newest ideas. And on August 12 and 13 from noon to 5 p.m., “Chillin’ With Chihuly” will be a day of live music, glass-blowing demonstrations, and refreshments.
Overall, CHIHULY will be a part of the gardens until October 29th. During that time, “Chihuly Nights” will be on display 1-3 nights per week when the public can enjoy his illuminated sculptures. This is an opportunity that cannot be missed.