Chihuly: In the Forest

Aug 16 - Nov 27, 2017

Exhibition Overview

Fiori Boat, 2016

About Dale Chihuly

Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, Chihuly established the glass program at the Rhode Island School of Design and co-founded Pilchuck Glass School in Washington. For five decades, he has pushed the boundaries of studio glass and created installations for audiences around the globe; his works have been included in more than 250 museum collections.

Chihuly pioneered irregular, asymmetrical forms by allowing the molten glass to bend, fold, and move according to its own rhythm and gravity. He experimented with size, weight, and thinness to create new shapes. And he expanded the size and scale of art glass, with sculptural and architectural installations. During a long career, his stunning creations–vessels, orbs, and chandeliers–have become familiar to art lovers and glass enthusiasts alike. From the first small glass bubble he blew as an art student in 1965, Chihuly has marveled at the mysteries of glass.

“To this day I have not gotten over the excitement of molten glass,” said artist Dale Chihuly. “The process is so wonderfully simple, yet so mystifying. I’m still amazed to see the first breath of air enter the hot gather of glass at the end of a blowpipe.”

“Chihuly changed the way we think about glass and continues to push the medium,” said Britt Cornett, Head of Exhibitions, Chihuly Studio. “He is globally renowned for his ambitious site-specific installations in public spaces, as well as in museums and gardens all over the world.

Chihuly: In the Forest (until November 27, 2017)

Chihuly’s art is inspired by the natural world and international experiences, as evident in this outdoor exhibition which features bold and larger-than-life installations like the Belugas, Red Reeds, neon Tumbleweeds, a Boat, and a Sun created especially for the exhibition at Crystal Bridges, featuring a never-before-seen palette of colors. Chihuly chose subtle, yet brilliant golds and clear glass forms, connecting back to Venetian glass traditions, to capture and reflect the natural light of the Ozark forest.

Among the first works visitors will encounter in the forest is a neon sculpture, Boathouse 7 Neon. Chihuly began working with neon in the late 1960s and this work represents the first time Chihuly explored multiple colors in one neon installation.

The exhibition Chihuly: In the Forest also serves as the grand re-opening of the North Forest Trail, formerly known as the Dogwood Trail. A year in the making, this paved trail will increase accessibility to the museum’s natural landscape, especially for visitors using wheelchairs, strollers, or mobility scooters. The 1.1 mile-long trail is 10 feet wide, designed in a figure eight; it will include public restrooms, a courtyard with a food truck, and will be lit at night. After the close of the Chihuly: In the Forest exhibition, the museum’s North Forest Trail will re-open for public access and will re-connect to the Razorback Regional Greenway trail system.

“Along with the exhibition, we are re-introducing audiences to our newly enhanced north forest and unveiling a beautiful new museum entrance that will provide better access from our galleries to our grounds,” said Haynes. “Beyond Chihuly, we will look for ways to continue to engage guests in the forest with artworks and events designed to amplify the intersection of art and nature.

Two works are accessible to visitors without a ticket. Newly installed on the Twentieth Century Gallery Bridge is the Azure Icicle Chandelier and the Niijima Floats are displayed in Crystal Pond near the south entrance.

The admission for Chihuly: In the Forest is $10. There is no cost for museum members and youth ages 18 and under.

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