Dale Chihuly’s “Persian Chandelier” is on display at Franklin Park Conservatory. CONTRIBUTED/CHIHULY STUDIO
In 2003, artist Dale Chihuly’s vibrant glass artwork was put on display at the Conservatory. “Chihuly at the Conservatory” not only had record-breaking attendance, but it also led to the formation of a non-profit group, Friends of the Conservatory, who came together to purchase most of the pieces within the exhibition to keep as a permanent fixture at the Conservatory.
Because Chihuly artwork is often inspired by nature, the glass pieces are now displayed in the botanical gardens at the Conservatory. Currently, the Conservatory is displaying 19 installations of the Chihuly glass artwork from its collection.
More about Chihuly
Niijima Floats, Sunset Chandelier and Anemones on display at Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus. CONTRIBUTED/CHIHULY STUDIO
You may remember the Dayton Art Institute’s Chihuly exhibit, “Form From Fire” in 2001. In 2014, the museum hosted “Dayton Celebrates Glass: Chihuly, Littleton, Labino and Beyond.” When you visit the DAI’s permanent glass gallery once it reopens, you’ll see four colorful and representative works by Chihuly and the DAI ‘s Museum Store carries Chihuly Studio Editions.
Chihuly established the glass program at Rhode Island School of Design and co-founded the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington state. Among his massive site-specific installations have been “Chihuly over Venice” and “Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem” where his contemporary artwork was nestled into ancient archaeological pottery.
It was after a grant study at the Venini glass factory in Italy that Chihuly adopted the practice of working with teams of other glassblowers. When personal injuries after a car crash left him unable to be physically involved in glassblowing, he assumed the role of director, leading teams as large as 18 in creating glass designs.
Chihuly divides his work into different series. “Ikebanas” — another name for Japanese flower arranging — are colorful long-stemmed pieces made with the help of Chihuly’s longtime friend Lino Tagliapietra after a trip to Japan in 1998. His “baskets” are lopsided bowls inspired by the sight of an old Indian basket. The “Anemones” are long, slender finger-like stems that look as though they are floating underwater.
Attempting to use as many color combinations in one series as possible, Chihuly created the “Macchia” (Italian for “spotted”) in 1981. Chihuly “Chandeliers” weigh hundreds of pounds and are not actually chandeliers, but are glass sculptures. His “Persian Ceiling” is composed of hundreds of blown glass forms layered together on plate glass panels. Ask your children if they can find the hidden translucent and gold “putti,” or cherub.
“I want my work to appear like it came from nature, so that if someone found it on a beach or in the forest, they might think it belonged there,” Chihuly has stated.
Holiday lights at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus.
Credit: Franklin Park Conservatory
Credit: Franklin Park Conservatory
Visitors to the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus this holiday season will have a sweet surprise in store. This year, the center has been transformed into an outdoor Candyland complete with a life-size gingerbread house.
The outdoor Candyland and winter wonderland will be open to the public daily through Jan. 10, 2021 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The conservatory will close to general admission at 4 p.m.
Along with the Candyland scene and magical train display, the Paul Busse Garden Railway, guests can look forward to other familiar favorites, like the rainbow tunnel, ornament trees and more.
The holiday exhibit includes lights displays like the musical light show in the Sunrise Lawn of the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden and the Grand Mallway, a path of glowing trees and James Turrell’s “Light Raiment II” that illuminates the historic 1895 John F. Wolfe Palm House.
The 14th Annual Gingerbread Competition display features participants from various categories through Dec. 31. This year, due to the pandemic, everyone can join in on selecting Best in Show, as voting will take place virtually and can be done from the Conservatory or from home.
Before heading to the conservatory, guests must purchase their tickets in advance on the conservatory’s website. General admission tickets are $22, while seniors ($60+) get in for $19 and children (ages 3-12) get in for $12. Adult members psy $11, senior members get in for $9.50 and the younger crowd gets in for $6.
WANT TO GO?
What: Chihuly artwork display and Conservatory Aglow
Where: Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, 1777 E. Broad St., Columbus
When: The Chihuly collection is permanently displayed until at least December of 2021. The Conservatory Aglow display will be open from now until Jan. 10 on a daily basis from 5-9 p.m.
Admission: General admission tickets are $22, while seniors ($60+) get in for $19 and children (ages 3-12) get in for $12. Adult members get in for $11, senior members get in for $9.50 and the younger crowd gets in for only $6.
More info: www.fpconservatory.org