Musings and Amusings

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The spectacular Chihuly Garden Cycle show has come to Denver Botanic Gardens. Dale Chihuly, world-renowned glass artist, was born in Tacoma, WA in 1941. He studied in Venice, and has incorporated the team approach to glass-blowing in his prolific array of worldwide installations, both indoors and outdoors. In 1971, Chihuly cofounded Pilchuck Glass School in Washington.

Entrance view

Entrance view

I have been fortunate to view Chihuly’s exquisite art in galleries, museumsย and outdoor settings. I’m posting only a few of the many works installed at Denver Botanic Gardens, which will be on display through November 30, 2014. I plan to visit each month at different times of the day and evening to see how the viewer’s perspective changes through different lighting and seasons.

The next one is called “Summer Sun”, and all I could think of was Medusa’s hair.

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Next is a closeup photo of the most beautiful yucca blooms I’ve seen anywhere (for you, Marci).

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We’ve had rain at just the right times this spring, and the entire Gardens is a splendor of colorful blooms and vibrant green leaves of all shapes and sizes, including the usually-sparse xeriscape sections.

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You can learn more about this exhibit at http://www.chihulyindenver.com or about Chihuly at http://chihuly.com

I’ll close with two more pieces – actually three because the green plant in front of these gorgeous purple spikes is also a glass piece!

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Most surprising to me, these lovely works have survived the frequent, torrential hail and wind storms that have plagued us the last couple of months. At some point, of course, I will have to explore what makes this glass so weather-proof while remaining malleable enough to shape into these curving, flowing structures.

More to come after future visits!

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Comments on: "Chihuly at Denver Botanic Gardens" (42)

  1. Beautiful shots and magnificent glass art! Throughout the many years we’ve lived in Colorado, I’ve often thought of going to the Botanic gardens, but haven’t yet. These photos have given me a little more reason to visit. Thank you for posting these.

    • Thanks! The gardens have been renovated over the last few years, and they are really spectacular with all the rain this year. If you go, best to get there at opening because the Chihuly exhibit is so popular that parking and crowds are more of an issue than in “normal” summers. The gardens are beautiful any season really.

  2. Wow, they are amazing! Stunning photos Sammy, thanks for introducing us to his work, I’m completely in love with them ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks, Lainey. I first “met” his work in an art gallery near home when I lived in urban Denver. He has unbelievably gorgeous chandeliers; I used to pop in there all the time!

  3. Just beautiful and heart warming! O the creations are so wondrous! They are all exceptional and I agree about the orange twisty ones reminding of Medusa’s hair. Thank you for sharing these Sammy!

    • Thanks, Susan. Wouldn’t it be fun to visit his studio? I’m going to search for an online interview – I’m always curious about what they are thinking and what inspires their work.

  4. cardamone5 said:

    As a lover of all things resembling mid century modern, I say thank you for these pics which remind me of Venini and other Murano masters.

    Fondly,
    Elizabeth

  5. Thanks! I’ve only seen a few of his works before.

  6. Oh Sammy, I just love chihuly’s glass. His from this neck of the woods, so he is very well known around here. His thought process amazes me and his colors are so vibrant. Of course he is getting old like the rest of us and the strong young people do most of his hard work and he supervises. I am always amazed how the sculptures are fitted together as well, and transported. Lots and lots of work for such a traveling show.

    • You are so right – the “behind-the-scenes logistics on packing, transporting and location-specifics have to be mind-boggling.

      I watched a Garden volunteer working among the spikes and spirals of one of his pieces, trimming the surrounding plants leaf by leaf. She was about our age, and I told her I would be terrified with my sometimes tipsy balance to work so closely to his pieces. She said she was feeling the same way – on pins and needles and praying she didn’t misstep! I couldn’t believe they let “ordinary” volunteers work so close to the art!

      This is one thing I love about our blogging community – many if us share a day’s activity, and someone in another locale has a familiarity or connection or something worthwhile to add to the content. I love that Chihuly is a “local” for you when he’s a global rock star to me ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. hope it is there when I get back!

    • You’re back before the end if Nov, right? Might be nippy camping then! My comment to you didn’t go through a couple days ago – loved your rendition of the devil mattress and gift to the Baptists. Today’s post was lovely, too. Weren’t you tempted to stay there a couple more days with your chairs so perfectly placed?

  8. I love his work and look forward to seeing what you come up with over the next few months. The purple spikes are gorgeous (well, they are purple ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) but I also like your flowering yucca – how lovely is that!

    • Aren’t they gorgeous? The color and reflection on the water were stunning. It was very interesting to see how some colors drew me in and others pushed back.

  9. WOW! WOWOWOWOW! Never even heard of him! Wow!

  10. I love the bottom pic with the pink and white.

  11. Got here at last, Sammy ๐Ÿ™‚ I love Chihuly’s work too.

  12. Reblogged this on D.Katie Powell Art and commented:
    Bemuzin knocked my socks off with her blog about this glass artist. I never heard of Dale Chihuly. Sammy took some great pictures!

  13. Sammy,
    Thanks for sharing the Chihuly glass (and including the links). Truly amazing. Can’t wait to see how the scenery changes through the seasons to enhance the pieces.

    • Thanks, Elsie, for visiting. It rained all day today and would have been perfect for alternative views, but I had other plans. Next time ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Spectacular. You’re so lucky to have seen and photographed these firsthand. I’ve seen similar open air glass exhibits in Japan, but nowhere near this gorgeous.

    • Thank you, Damyanti. I am always taken aback when I realize the physicality required of artist -whether it’s the stamina and dexterity to hold the pen or paintbrush to the ability to withstand the heat of kilns and ovens – art asks as much of our bodies as it does of our minds.

  15. This is incredible! And what a great idea to mix them in with real plants….The one that looks like medusa looks up close like amazing candy. Very Hansel and Gretel in a way, to mix candy and medusa ๐Ÿ˜‰

    So glad you shared these, it’s actually given me an idea for a particular scene in my book where I was a little stuck – goes to show just how you can never know where inspiration will come from!

    And also I’ve volleyed the Awesome Reader Award back to you – it’s like boomerang, you sent it out and it came right back to ya ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Didn’t see Hansel and Gretel playing with Medusa’s hair, but I like the way you think :-). So happy to hear you got a nugget of an idea – it seems like most days now I leave myself “open” to help from somewhere on something I’m writing or thinking where I’m stuck. Messages abound if we ask to receive them ๐Ÿ™‚

      I have a little dent in my head from the boomerang LOL

      • Haha, next time I’ll shout DUCK!! before throwing it back.

        Exactly right, ideas come at you from everywhere if you’re open minded – but also I’ve that if in the back of your mind you are thinking about whatever it is that you need help with. I read something about that (going to blog about it too, whenever I get the time), and it’s true the more you are thinking about something the more inspiration you get when you’re not expecting it!

      • Yes! It’s even true playing cards or rolling dice. I always tell my grand kids, ” think what card you want before you draw.” They look at me puzzled, but often they draw the card they needed and think I’m a magician ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Absolutely gorgeous! How clever to mix glass sculptures with live plants. Must be spectacular in person. Cheers!

    • Yes, I’m very lucky to have this spectacular melding of glass and flora in my “backyard”. I hope you have a great weekend, and thank you again for being so supportive.

  17. These pictures are absolutely stunning. I’m so obsessed with all the colors and shapes. Art is such a beautiful thing. Thanks so much for sharing these ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you, Sam! I’m glad you stopped by to enjoy them. There’s nothing better than clicking on someone’s blog post and being blown away by what you see or read ๐Ÿ™‚

      Hope you are doing well.

  18. Wow!! Awesome photos, we are definitely going to go see this; I’ve always wanted to see his work in person. My brother saw an exhibition in Dallas a couple years back and still talks about it. I hope we can figure out how to fit it in before the “big trip” which is approaching very quickly! I got a thing in the mail saying that we can get a discount on the tickets with our DAM membership ๐Ÿ™‚ I love the Botanical Gardens in Denver, we went there several months ago and had a great time. Thanks for sharing your photos of this special exhibition!

    • They have a real parking problem because of big crowds. The structure fills quickly and surrounding streets are permit parking.

      My advice – week day if possible. Arrive around 8:40 when you’ll still find parking in structure, for 9am opening, which also means the gardens are relatively un crowded and you have best views.

      If you miss it, it’s here thru Nov (unless you buy a flat in Paris!) and besides … Bons jours Jardin du Luxembourg et Les Tuileries and all those other regions you’re about to luxuriate in ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. And now I’M the one up late! The perfect opportunity for me to catch up on what I missed when internet connections were either nonexistent or unreliable.
    I LOVE the exhibit and am only sorry that I wont be able to fit in a trip to see them “live”! Your idea to visit at different times over the coming month is a great one. I look forward to the posts.
    I’m looking the artist up to see if he is scheduled to come to the east coast any time soon right after I post this comment.

    • Thanks, Shelley. I do hope you can find a gallery or place to see some of Chihuly’s pieces, but his website does have very lifelike images.

      BTW I forgot to say how fantastically cool the paint job was on the African helicopter in your post ๐Ÿ™‚

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