Last week, when I was on my way into New York City, I happened to spot an advertisement for the Chihuly Exhibit taking place at NYC’s Botanical Garden. My mind immediately left the train (a mental brake for beauty!) and transported me back to Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden in Miami where I had first seen his work. Dale Chihuly is an American artist known for glass blowing. Per the dictionary, it is “the art of forming or shaping a mass of molten or heat-softened glass into ware by blowing air into it through a tube”. However, my romantic side describes it as “breathing life into glass”.
Although Fairchild is a beautiful garden, the plant collections and displays transformed for me through his sculptures. A simple stream suddenly became magical, while a dry desert landscape became enchanting.
Although nature in itself is beautiful, the pieces enhanced what was already there. It enabled me to see an everyday occurrence (stream, cacti, etc.) in a different way. Smaller details that I had not noticed had been drawn out through the use of color and shape. Chihuly focuses on natural shapes for his pieces and he captures the essence of nature (its delicacy, elegance, and gracefulness) in a permanent way – a glass garden.
Chihuly’s permanent location for his work is at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington and the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum in Seattle, Washington. These museums are on my wanderlust bucket list, but until then I am all for hitting up his exhibits. I am attaching the link for his current (California, NYC, & Nebraska) and upcoming (Arkansas) exhibits HERE! The NYC installation will be up until October, so I plan on visiting the gardens on my next trip into New York. Although I have been to the NYC Botanical Gardens numerous times, I am excited to see it in this context. Remember that exhibits are a great way of revisiting a location and seeing something new no matter where you live. I definitely recommend checking out local museums/gardens/historic sites in your area to see if there is anything interesting going on!
Sidenote: While looking at some of Chihuly’s work, I realized I had unknowingly encountered his work on a trip to Las Vegas. He had done an installment on the ceiling of the Bellagio known as “Fiori di Como” that I had fallen in love with. Six years later, I am making the connection!