This is "Desert Wildflower Towers", one of artist Dale Chihuly's glass art sculptures on display at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona. The exhibition at the Garden is named "Chihuly: The Nature of Glass" and Chihuly's work is displayed from November 22, 2008 to May 31, 2009. The Nature of Glass exhibit features new and unique works of glass artfully located throughout the Garden. Dale Chihuly is known for his innovative glass sculptures, and his work is immediately recognizable for its grand scale and vibrant colors. This is Chihuly's first exhibition in an outdoor desert environment.
“The artist permits and encourages photography of the artwork in this exhibition for educational and non-commercial use only.”
INFORMATION ON ARTIST DALE CHIHULY:
Dale Patrick Chihuly (b. September 20, 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, United States) is an American glass sculptor. Chihuly graduated from high school in Tacoma. Supported by his mother, after his brother George's death in a flight-training accident in Florida and his father's death of a heart attack, he enrolled at the College of the Puget Sound (now University of Puget Sound) in 1959.
In 1967, he received a Master of Science in sculpture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Chihuly lives and works in his 25,000 square foot (2300 m²) studio, nicknamed "The Boathouse" for its former use, on Lake Union. Since losing the vision in one of his eyes in a car accident in 1976, Chihuly (who wears an eyepatch) no longer has the depth perception necessary to handle the molten glass himself. Instead, he conceptualizes each project with paint and canvas and then employs a team of artists to do the work.
About his work: His fascination with abstract nature forms comes from his mother's garden in Tacoma, Washington. One of his sculptures would be prominently displayed on the sitcom Frasier, which is set in nearby Seattle. His love for the ocean and its creatures is also reflected in his art.
Over the past forty years, Chihuly's glass sculptures have explored color, design, and assemblage. Although his work varies in size and color, he is best known for his multipart blown masterpieces. Also interested in Irish culture, he has produced a sizeable volume of "Irish cylinders," which are more modest in conception than his blown glass works.
Some of Chihuly's works cover whole ceilings of casinos and hotels, while others are hand-sized abstract flowers. Chihuly uses intense colors to bring his work to life. He is also known for using neon and argon.
Chihuly uses nature as a setting for his pieces, and tries to create his pieces as though they are part of nature. He sometimes entwines his pieces around tree branches and trunks. He also suspends them in space and floats them in water. Although it is not widely known, some components of Chihuly's installations (for example, the stacked aqua-colored chunks that decorate the Tacoma "Bridge of Glass") are made of an acrylic-type material rather than glass.
INFORMATION ABOUT THE DESERT BOTANICAL GARDEN:
Nestled amid the red buttes of Papago Park, the Desert Botanical Garden hosts one of the world’s finest collections of desert plants. One of only 44 botanical gardens accredited by the American Association of Museums, this one-of-a-kind museum showcases 50 acres of beautiful outdoor exhibits. Home to 139 rare, threatened and endangered plant species from around the world, the Garden offers interesting and inspiring experiences to more than 300,000 visitors each year.
A charter member of the Museum Association of Arizona and National Center for Plant Conservation, the Garden is fully accredited with the American Association of Museums and American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta. It continues to build on its 63-year legacy of environmental stewardship, and has become nationally and internationally renowned for its plant collections, research and educational programs.