The Dale Chihuly Garden and Glass Exposition is the place to be when our Northwest winter weather dims your enthusiasm and you begin to crave light. Run to Seattle and look for the taller-than-life glass flowers announcing the entrance to this wonderland of visual art. Head to the Seattle Center grounds, bordered by the Space Needle and the EMP to see this big show. It is vibrant and overwhelmingly stunning. Exotic too, packed with kaleidoscopic colors to match your wildest socks, gummy worms and sweet tarts. Even if you have watched all the PBS Chihuly in Venice, Denmark and Vegas-at-the-Bellagio stories, you haven’t felt the art–the creative punch of these glass installations, the legacy of world-famous glass artist Dale Chihuly.
Open a bit over a year ago, it includes eight exhibition halls of distinctive blown and pulled glass works, a glass conservatory and an open air garden. The rooms have names: The Glass Forest, Northwest Room, Sea Life Room, the Persian Ceiling, Mille Fiori, Ikebana and Float Boat, Chandeliers, and the Macchia Forest. Each one more complex than the last.
Now you say, “I have seen blown glass.”
I say, “NO, you’ve never seen anything this dramatic.”
“I want people to be overwhelmed with light and color in a way they have never experienced,” says Dale Chihuly.
It’s easy to spend two hours here examining everything. Peering from many angles and sticking your head within inches of major works is a unique experience.
Showcased in a theatre, near the end of the exhibition, are five short videos focusing on various worldwide Chihuly instillations. The series adds historical context to many of the styles of glass on display in this exhibition.
The outside gardens are breathtaking with an innovative juxtaposition of glass botanical imitations paired with live plantings.
“At Chihuly Gardens and Glass, Dale Chihuly takes his work beyond traditional indoor gallery presentations creating elaborate installations that flow on floors, walls, ceilings and the outdoors,” claims the brochure.
“A true Northwesterner, Dale Chihuly has pioneered new techniques in art and influenced generations of artists. “ Jeffrey Wright, Chairman Space Needle, LLC
The cost is an investment in culture: Adults $19.00, Seniors $15, Youth $12. Classical music soothes as you wander from hall to hall.
A portion of Chihuly’s extensive collection of vintage Pendleton trading blankets is also on display as well as a substantial collection of historic Edward Curtis photos of Native people’s, and antique hand-woven baskets paired with glass vessels that imitate both pattern and colors.
Five out of five stars in my book.
|Sunday – Thursday||11am – 7pm|
|Friday & Saturday||11am – 8pm|
Category: Indie It Art, Film & Theatre