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Dale Chihuly Exhibit - Desert Botanical Garden

Updated on January 16, 2015

The Nature of Glass Exhibit at the Desert Botanical Gardens

I had the pleasure of visiting the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, Arizona a few years ago. It's a beautiful display of all of the wonders of the Desert and we've visited it several times over the years.

But the thing that made this particular trip even more special was that Dale Chihuly was exhibiting his work in an installation called "The Nature of Glass".

This is my photo of the installation Dale Chihuly calls "Blue & Purple Boat" and I have to say that it definitely loses in the translation! It's an amazing experience to view this in person!

It's the first time that Chihuly has created an installation entirely within a desert garden and it was spectacular.

I was there during the daytime but was told that it's especially beautiful at night when the glass pieces are bathed in light. I can just imagine. Visit the official website for a look at the art glass against a black background. Same effect, probably.

A LIttle About Dale Chihuly

Photo from Wikipedia

Dale Chihuly is a recognized visionary in the world of contemporary art glass. He is the most famous glass artist in the world and is considered by many to be the best. One of his most visited works is the huge glass ceiling at the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada

Chihuly was born in Tacoma, Washington on September 20, 1941. He is of Czechoslovakian and Hungarian descent on his father's side and Swedish and Norwegian on his mother's side. His father was a butcher and his mother was a homemaker. He loved the seashore and was fascinated by the ecology of the sea and the beautiful sunsets that are famous in the Pacific Northwest.

He studied architecture and interior design at the University of Washington but received his degree from the University of Wisconsin.

In 1969 Chihuly graduated with a M.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design (RIHD) and was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study glassblowing in Italy. He was the first American glassblower to study at the Vernini glass factory in Murano, Italy.

Back in the United States he returned to RIHD and established and directed their glass program for more than ten years. Two years later, opened the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington state.

In 1976 Chihuly lost the vision in one eye in an automobile accident in London. He is recognized easily by the black pirate's patch that he wears.

He is married and has one son.

For more information, some amazing photographs of his work and information about the Pilchuck Glass School, please visit the official Dale Chihuly website.

"I can't understand it when people say they don't like a particular color. How on Earth can you not like a color?"

— Dale Chihuly

Green Persian Art Vessel

"Glass is the most magical of all materials. It transmits light in a special way ... I'm pleased that my art appeals to so many people of all ages.

~Dale Chihuly

Dale his own words... - ...via YouTube

This is just a wonderful video of Dale Chihuly speaking about his life as a glass artist. He's humble and brilliant at the same time. He talks about his 40 year he fell in love with glass; how he lost the vision in his eye and a bit about his life at present.

Do watch it. I think you'll really enjoy this few minutes.

The Moon - ....a truly inspired piece

The Moon
The Moon

This beautiful hand blown glass sculpture is 7 feet in diameter.

The Desert Botanical Gardens

Papago Park - Phoenix, Arizona

The Desert Botanical Garden is a must-see visit if you're ever in Phoenix, Arizona. It's a 50 acre oasis of beautiful desert plants many of which are very rare or endangered.

There are a half dozen trails throughout the park that you can explore to experience unique exhibits. The "Plants and People of the Sonoran Desert" trail will explain how desert plants throughout the world have been used for food, clothing, and medicine.

Do visit the official website of The Desert Botanical Garden for more information such as a calendar of upcoming exhibits and events. There are maps of the trails and lists of the desert flowers growing in their Desert Wildflower Trail. Plus much,much more.

This is a photo of the Teddy Bear Cholla cacti. It looks soft and fuzzy but it's deceiving - it's spines are extremelypainful if you should happen to touch them. It's also called the Jumping Cholla because if you get too close, it seems to jump at you. Yikes!

The Sun - Dale Chihuly's homage to the Sun

The Sun
The Sun

This amazing hand blown glass sculpture stands 13 feet high and reaches 14 feet in diameter!

My Guestbook

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    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 

      6 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      Very bright and beautiful pieces.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This looks like an interesting exhibit. I enjoyed your photos.

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image


      9 years ago from Canada

      Dale's work is amazing. I've never seen it in person, but I would imagine it would be awe-inspiring! 5* Thanks for dropping by with your little helpful hint!

    • Holley Web profile image

      Holley Web 

      9 years ago

      Lovely! Gorgeous colors and wonderful info!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Yes, this is ONE of my favorite glass artists too! When I was active at Stylehive over 3 years ago, I bookmarked in several of his glass pieces. Such a marvelous talent. I also am a huge fan of Robert Held -- done a lens on that glass artists. Oh, and I just remembered -- I do have a group on Art Glass -- hoping that it makes the CUT! Would love to have you on board there.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      great job. I love the artwork. I live in Hawaii and it reminds me a lot of the art you see there; has a lot of "earthy" elements.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Lovely Photos

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Lovely Photos!I love color!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      What a great lens! 5 Stars!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Love this one!

    • CherylK profile imageAUTHOR

      Cheryl Kohan 

      9 years ago from Arizona

      Thank you so much for the blessing. I'm so happy to know you are a fan, too. My sister and I tried to visit Pilchuk one day but you can't get any closer than about a mile! Some day I'll go to his open house which he has about once a year. [in reply to lakeerieartists]

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 

      9 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Cheryl, I am a huge Chihuly fan. I have seen his work in Cleveland, and have followed him for years. His work is incredible in person, and even in pictures. This lens is one that I will visit again. Blessed by an angel. :)

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image


      9 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Lovely Photos Cheryl! I love color! Dale Chihuly's art glass is quite amazing. Would love to visit. :)


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