It was a almost 2 years ago that my family went to The Mint Museum of Craft in Charlotte, NC and saw a fabulous Chihuly show. My son was 10 at the time and when he went through the Persian ceiling he just kept saying "WOW!" in a low voice over and over!
Last summer I went to a lecture by Chihuly in Fayetteville, NC. He was so interesting and entertaining - we found out later that he was in extreme pain due to a back injury. I took a group of students to the museum there which had a very small exhibit and they loved it.
----- Original Message -----
From: SHARON STEERE
Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2001 7:34 PM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: Chihully's Blown Glass (Long)
Chihully did a site specific work in Jeruselum, it was broadcast on PBS. It was out doors. It happened to snow and that even added to the exhiibt. If you can picture all these beautiful intense colors of clear glass against a backdrop of white snow and buff colored stone. You almost have to see it to appreciate it. Words just won't do it justice! On one of the open buildings Chihully placed these long cobalt blue cylinder sword like shaped glass pieces, so they were viewed from below. Another installation was like a bottle tree. It seems to me like it was constructed of welded rebar, which is used in concrete to reinforce it. He used it to construct this tall tree like structure that all this glass would hang on. Again one has to see it to appreciate it!
The Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska has a permanent installation of Chihully's work. It is multicolored blown glass pieces. All screwed into a base that goes from floor to ceiling in a window that is two stories high. The art is that tall. It is shaped somewhat like an inverted "V", growing wider at the bottom with all these multi colored peices of animal horn formed pieces. That is the closest I can come to describing it. When Chihully was there for a visit and exhibition, he had what was called an Persian ceiling. It was a glass ceiling with his blown glass forms seen from below, over your head as you walked through this hall. It was beautiful. I thought it would have made a good purchase for the museum but they bought the other one. The persian ceiling, was called that because of Persian or oriental carpet. The forms reminded one of an undersea garden or tropical fish. Some of the forms were shaped like shells, but all clear glass that was so awesome!
In Venice Chihully did a work (and this is on a Video tape too) He had tons of glass peices made. He has over 150 people that help him. He employes them. They took the glass and hung it like chandliers from trees along a creek and then threw blown glass floats in the creek. some bottle like forms broke and he later had his mean clean up the shattered glass. The purpose of the exhibit was to draw attention to the creek, the environment, as in environmental art!
Chihully works with kids at risk and introduces them to making art. He also works with kids at the exhibit he had at Joslyn and they squirted paint on the papers on the floor and he squirted paint all over the kids tennis shoes, to the delightful squeals of the crowd of kids! He exhibited his painting that inspire his glass forms. He is quite the showman--seems to enjoy all aspects of the art he makes! The exhibit in Omaha even included a demonstration area where you could actually see the glass being blown. Many of the educational catalogs have his videos. some of his small dish like abalones or sea like creatures that were only about 12 inches in diameter sell for $40,000! If you ever watch the show FRAZIER, they have a Chihully sitting in the main living room. It sits on a small table. It has undulating sides wide at the top and narrow at the base. It fans out ward and upward, sort of cone like only wide open and undulating at the top. Chihully even sculpts in snow! He is fascinated by the translucent quality of light coming through the snow crystals. He relates it to the glass blowing in this way.
I hope this gives you a better understanding of Chihully!
Chihully just completed a blown glass project in Jeruselum--it is on video
Sharon, what kind of project? As a contempory glass collector, I'm intrigued
with Chihully. Has anyone seen the A&E special on Chihully in Venice or his
work last year at glass exhibit at The American Craft Museum in NYC? Boy, do
I wish I could afford a genuine Chihully. Susan on Long Island ---