Dallas Arboretum to host massive exhibit
by glass artist Dale Chihuly
January 25, 2012 – The Dallas Arboretum will host a mammoth outdoor exhibit by renowned Seattle glass artist Dale Chihuly later this year, positioning the fantastically colored pieces throughout the grounds.
Details of the exhibit, running May 5 to Nov. 5, will be announced Thursday afternoon. The Chihuly Studio has declined to announce the number of pieces expected to be placed in the 66-acre arboretum, but past Chihuly garden exhibits have included several hundred pieces.
Chihuly, 70, is one of the most prolific and influential glass artists of his generation, with works in more than 200 museum collections worldwide including the Louvre in Paris.
In Texas, he has permanent installations at the Dallas Museum of Art (the Hart Window in the Atrium Café), the San Antonio Museum of Art and the San Antonio Public Library.
There’s no mistaking the Chihuly style, with its flowing lines reminiscent of nature, bright colors and shapes that bend with the viewers’ imagination.
Serious injuries to his left eye and shoulder, beginning in 1976, curtailed his ability to blow glass. In a 2006 interview with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, he said that he now hires others to do the work, likening himself to “more choreographer than dancer, more supervisor than participant, more director than actor.”
Answering concerns about the storm-season timing of the exhibit, representatives of the Chihuly Studio said the artwork has encountered “everything from heavy rains to wind, hail, snow and even a hurricane.”
The pieces are sturdy and will be well-secured, although studio officials added that they are prepared for mishaps.
The arboretum, located at White Rock Lake, has raised $1.8 million to cover security, shipping and other costs for the exhibit.
AT&T is the presenting sponsor for the arboretum show, with major support from Bank of America and other sponsors. The Dallas Morning News is the principal partner of the arboretum, and a major media sponsor of the Chihuly exhibit.
The arboretum will open three evenings a week during the show for “Chihuly Nights,” powered by Cirro Energy. The exhibit will be included with regular admission and parking during daytime hours, but will have separate pricing for evening hours.
Holly Reed, regional vice president for AT&T in Dallas, says she believes the exhibit will “bring so much excitement to the region, and frankly beyond.”
She says she’s “amazed at what he does and how he does it, the vibrancy of this work. It’s a terrific fit for who we are as a region, with a lot of different people coming together to make the fabric of the community. That’s what he does. He puts a lot of different pieces and colors together. And we’re excited that it’s coming to such an exceptional location.”
Richard Holt, Bank of America market president for Dallas, says his company “jumped on it in a hurry” when they learned about the exhibit. “We think it’ll expose a broader community to the arts, and lift community spirits, and we could use that right now.”
Chihuly’s work, he said, “just gets the imagination, even for bankers, flowing.” When he showed some of Chihuly’s work to team members, he said, “They all saw different things in them.”
Staff Writer, Dallas Morning News