This weekend the spectacular and colorful glass sculptures of the world renowned artist Dale Chihuly comes to town. The Morean Art Center, in St. Petersburg. FL is providing a home for an exhibition -The Chihuly Collection- which opened today. This will be the only permanent museum collection of Dale Chihuly's glass art.
The Chihuly Collection will be housed in a building specifically designed (by architect Albert Alfonso) so that the architecture enhances the artworks. Each room and exhibit space has been designed to complement the glass work to provide visitors with a unique visual experience. The exhibit will also include the 700 lb. Ruby Red Icicle Chandelier, created specially for this collection and a blue Chandelier donated by Joan Stonecipher from Naples, FL. Mrs. Stonecipher is said to have told her ex-husband Harry Stonecipher, the former CEO of Boeing that for her 60th birthday, she wanted a Chihuly "a women can only wear so much jewelry, but a Chihuly I can look at everyday!"
Ruby Red Icicle Chandelier
(photograph courtesy of The Morean Art Center)
The opening events were held this weekend with a premiere tour of the collection today and general admission begins tomorrow, Monday July 12. Combination tickets to this event also includes a tour of the Morean Art Center and a hot shop where visitors can watch demonstrations of glass blowing. Cool!
I must confess, I had not much knowledge of Dale Chihuly, but the publicity surrounding this exhibit made me research and learn more about him. Dale Chihuly has certainly elevated glass blowing to a fine art! Check out his 2000 hand-blown glass blossoms Fiori di Como that adorn the ceiling of the Bellagio in Las Vegas. I have not been to Las Vegas, but a trip to see this masterpiece might be worth considering.
The ticket prices for the opening events of the Chihuly Collection were out of my price range, but I certainly plan to see the collection and tour the hot shop. The Morean Art Center I have learnt, also conducts classes in Lampworking, Dichroic Glass, Borosilicate Glass jewelry and Metalsmithing. Nice to know there is such a place so close to home that I can go to, when I find the time and money!