Tuesday, December 28, 2010

St. Petersburg Sights

Persian style,  on the ceiling
Off to see the wizard...uh, nope! Not unless I get some tickets to go see The Wiz, a Broadway show, but I digress......Off to see St. Petersburg, Fl! It's cold again today...the high was 48...time to find something interesting indoors.  I checked out the Chihuly glass exhibit at the downtown gallery on the waterfront on Beach Drive in St. Petersburg. This is a permanent exhibit. I'm not much into art museums, but for some reason, this glass art amazes me, and I just love to see it. Dale Chihuly is a modern, (still living) glass artist and his creations are beautiful. He is a talented glass blower himself, but he needs a team of glass blowers to help him complete his designs that are on such a grand scale. He is the master designer of all things glass...He lives in Seattle, WA and has displays all over the world. I guess the hotel Bellagio in Las Vegas has Chihuly glass among many many other locations. Again, you can't take photos or even have your cell phone out to check the time at a gallery like this..a lady was chastised for taking an emergency phone call from her daughter while in the gallery. I guess they thought she was going to whip out her cell phone to take photos of the glass. So today's photos are from the web. 

They really were this beautiful!
Chihuly has different "series" of glass creations--baskets--self explanatory,  persians-- which are often mounted on walls and ceilings, seaforms --which are more delicate thin walled soft colors of glass basket styles, chandeliers, nijama floats--which are incredible large glass balls, and more. One of my favorites is the fiore which is a spectacular garden of glass with all kind of tubular and bulbous shapes in the most incredible color blends. One of the distinctions of his glass work is the way he has contrasting "lip wraps" on the edges of the glasswork, like the black on the pink seafoam example above. And the way they light the glass, WOW! The exhibit lights truly add to your visual experience. These photos are from the web....this bottom one is one of the displays I saw at the St. Petersburg exhibit hall today.

One of the interesting things I learned was that he has a team of about 30 glass blowers at any given time and overall, he employs about 100 people. These glass sculptures are truly a team effort. Some of his tubular structures of glass ( like the example shown above) are so long or tall, that he is not able to manufacture them in his home state studio in Washington. He was going to build his own annealing kilns to make these, but the kilns require so much electrical energy, the power company told him he would have to build his own substation! I don't think so! So he takes his team to Finland every couple of years (sounds like a whole lot more fun to me) to complete these tremendous projects. Apparently, Finland is more willing to help Chihuly (an American) realize his artistic dreams than our own government. Price of admission? for a senior (over 55) $13.00 A chance to see a modern artist's works to challenge your senses? Priceless! Another cool thing about viewing this exhibit is, you can purchase an additonal ticket for not much more for the "Hot Shop"/ Glass Studio at the Morean Arts Center a few blocks away from the main exhibit...there you can go observe artists creating glass sculptures and hear the commentary on how they do it. You can actually have the experience of blowing glass as well. I did not do that tour today, just the Chihuly glass show. This was a spectacular experience and well worth the expense, in my opinion! Off I go tomorrow on another adventure with my Eldo....


  1. This looks like the exibition I saw at the Children's Museum in Indianaplois a couple of years ago. I wonder if he was the same artist? Beautiful work.

  2. Thanks for sharing his magical glass artworks Eldy & Jeannie. Happy New Year and love, Bobbie