Saturday, February 15, 2014

Glassy Eyed In Seattle's Chihuly Garden And Glass

The combination of two Seattle icons

 was the unexpected highlight of a visit to one of my favorite American cities this past weekend. My husband and I were celebrating a belated
anniversary and an early Valentine's Day in the emerald city. When I learned about the exhibit, of course, I knew we had to see it.

The Needle, at Seattle Center, is an appropriate backdrop for Dale Chihuly's 
"Gardens And Glass," which opened here in 2012.

The glass artist was born in Tacoma, Washington.

This is a vibrant display of the artist's unique talent of making colorful blown glass sculptures, combined with his appreciation of gardens and his love of conservatories.

I have seen his glass several times before, including in Chicago's Garfield Park Conservatory and in other locations in Seattle before. Chihuly also studied in Italy and has had major exhibitions of his work at the Louvre in Paris, Venice, Jerusalem and England. 

Inside the Seattle exhibit, "Mille Fiori," (or a thousand flowers) is jaw dropping. 
 It was inspired by memories of his mother's garden.

I think I see glass that resembles an aloe plant.

This display, the Ikebana and Float Boats, is also in a dark room like Mille Fiori and built on black glass to mirror the image.

And this, the Persian ceiling, made me think that Chihuly may very well be the 
Michelangelo of glass.

When Chihuly started designing glass, he was inspired by patterns in baskets and colorful textiles of Native Americans.

He builds pieces together to create large sculptures that hang like chandeliers.

We had the opportunity to see the garden after a snowfall the night before. Even in the dismal gray of winter, there is a sense of wonder in Chihuly's garden.

Snow, the gray skies of Seattle and Chihuly glass adds a remarkable artistic dimension to this winter garden you won't see anywhere else.

 As 'Ron Burgundy' might say, you stay glassy, Seattle.

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