Providing a look at the inspiration and influences that inform the career of artist Dale Chihuly, the Exhibition includes eight Galleries, the centerpiece Glasshouse and a lush Garden.
The eight galleries and three Drawing Walls offer a comprehensive collection of Dale Chihuly’s significant series of work. The artworks demonstrate how he pushed the boundaries of glass as an art medium in concept, execution and presentation.
The centerpiece of Chihuly Garden and Glass is the Glasshouse. A 40-foot tall, glass and steel structure covering 4,500 square feet of light-filled space, the Glasshouse is the result of Chihuly’s lifelong appreciation for conservatories. The installation in the Glasshouse is an expansive 100-foot long sculpture in a color palette of reds, oranges, yellows and amber. Made of many individual elements, it is one of Chihuly’s largest suspended sculptures. The perception of the artwork varies greatly with natural light and as the day fades into night.
Chihuly has shown his artwork in botanical gardens all over the world, but this was his first time working with a landscape designer to create a space unlike that of any garden or exhibition elsewhere. The unique plant collection is specially chosen to complement Chihuly’s work and the striking colors and forms of the trees, plants, and flowers create a rich backdrop for the art. With an ever-changing, lush landscape, those who visit will enjoy a distinct experience with each new season.
The Theater presents short videos on Chihuly’s working process — interviews, glassblowing, working onsite doing installations and exhibitions. Visitors will see the choreography in the hotshop as the team executes his vision. The Theater is a gathering place for lectures, educational and community events in a state-of-the-art audio visual environment.
“If I had not been a sculptor or an artist, I would love to have been a film director or an architect.”
DEVELOPING THE EXHIBITION
After being invited by the Wright family to exhibit at Seattle Center, Chihuly started working with Center Art on a plan for the 1.5-acre plot. In consideration of best practices for the environment, the group decided to repurpose the existing building for the Exhibition Hall, add garden space and design a glass house as the centerpiece of the project. Chihuly chose specific artworks from his career and started to envision new sculptures for the site.
Intended to function as a community gathering place, Chihuly Garden and Glass broke ground in August 2011. The installation of artworks in the Gardens started March 2012, and then moved into the Glasshouse and Galleries. The project received LEED Silver certification in late 2012.