A Little Chihuly From Yours Truly
Before looking at Bob’s photos, how about a little garden music? When you click, it will play my favorite garden song. On a crisp October morning last year Bob and I went to see Dale Chihuly’s fabulous exhibit at the Dallas Arboretum.
We had a delightful time riding the tram with some fascinating fellow riders and the driver. Kudos to Bob for grabbing terrific in-transit shots… quite a feat considering the crowd. We were impressed with our driver’s ability to talk and drive while avoiding swarms of adults chatting and children giggling with little awareness of the trams.
If you have not heard of Dale Chihuly, here is an excerpt from his bio: Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, Dale Chihuly was introduced to glass while studying interior design at the University of Washington. After graduating in 1965, Chihuly enrolled in the first glass program in the country, at the University of Wisconsin. He continued his studies at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he later established the glass program and taught for more than a decade.
In 1968, after receiving a Fulbright Fellowship, he went to work at the Venini glass factory in Venice. There he observed the team approach to blowing glass, which is critical to the way he works today. In 1971, Chihuly cofounded Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State. With this international glass center, Chihuly has led the avant-garde in the development of glass as a fine art.
His work is included in more than 200 hundred museum collections worldwide. He has been the recipient of many awards, including twelve honorary doctorates and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Bob and I have seen his work over the years and it never fails to take our breaths away. It is astonishing that glass that looks so delicate can withstand outdoor garden conditions. The strength of his art was put to the test last summer when a very damaging hail storm moved through parts of Dallas and only a small portion of Chihuly’s work was damaged by the hail and high winds.
Some of his art is astonishingly large and what makes it even more impressive is that each piece of every sculpture gets assembled on-site. Can’t imagine what that would be like putting each piece in place without dropping it. I’m afraid if I attempted that job it would be like an episode from I Love Lucy.
After our tour, walking out of the garden I stopped for a few minutes to take one last look at the vista of cheerful people, to feel the breeze, smile into the sunshine and see the beautiful gardens and artwork. It was to my mind a perfect allegory of life. Storms come and go through our lives and at the times of the storms they seem overwhelming and unending but then life continues on including beauty and enjoyment like that lovely day last October.
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