NYC Botanical Gardens Reveals Plans for New CHIHULY Experience

Dale Chihuly

CHIHULY, a new exhibit at The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG), will showcase the work of world-renowned “translucent” artist Dale Chihuly. The event will run from April 22 through October 29, 2017. Chihuly is currently working with his team in Seattle in preparation for his first major New York garden exhibition in over ten years. Included in the exhibit will be about 20 installations, which will include drawings and early works by the Chihuly. 

Dale Chihuly, who celebrated his 75th birthday in September and focuses on ice, water, glass and neon sculptures, expressed his enthusiasm for the show at The New York Botanical Garden.

For the NYBG, Chihuly will revive several of his early works, which will be displayed waterside in the Native Plant Garden and Enid A. Haupt Conservatory Courtyard’s Tropical Pool. Artpark, which Chihuly created in 1975 for an outdoor show near Niagara Falls, will be reimagined using hand-blown sheets of stained glass. The glass artwork and natural environment should provide a stark contrast, a concept that will be WORD throughout the exhibit. Chihuly will create two new sculptures based off other installations from the 1975 event. The passing of time – whether day-to-day or season-to-season – will allow for different viewings of the sculptures as the light effects as it passes through the glass will constantly be changing.

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The exhibition will include several dramatic neon sculptures, an art form that Chihuly pioneered as early as the ‘60s During Chihuly’s blockbuster show at the NYBG in 2006 he further explored his work in neon with the development of the first Neon Tower. Chihuly will revisit these concepts with a new multicolor neon sculpture in the Conservatory Courtyard to take advantage of the location’s reflective qualities.

Another revival of his previous work, Chihuly’s Blue Herons, originally part of the 2006 exhibition and located in the Tropical Pool, will be displayed within the Haupt Conservatory. Blue Herons will be one of many sculptures located in the Victorian-style glasshouse. Other sites for the artist’s creations throughout the NYBG’s landscape include the Lillian and Amy Goldman Fountain of Life, Leon Levy Visitor Center, and Arthur and Janet Ross Conifer Arboretum. 

In the LuEsther T. Mertz Library’s Art Gallery, visitors can view an exhibition of works on paper alongside Chihuly’s early works. His drawings and paintings on paper began as a creative outlet but developed into a unique series. Elsewhere in the Mertz Library Building, Chihuly will present a group of Fire Orange Baskets, first developed in 1977, evoking Northwest Coast Indian baskets. The asymmetrical works aimed to replicate the effects of gravity as it shapes and distorts the glass. The “baskets” vary in color and size.

The CHIHULY Interactive Guide, by Bloomberg Philanthropies, will deliver interactive content to handheld devices customized to the user’s location. Each installation will appear as an icon on a virtual map and as visitors approach the installations, the interactive guide will trigger additional contextual information about the artist, artwork, or the process of its creation. Through the app, visitors can share their own photos of the sculptures.

In the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, young visitors can explore the connections among art, science, and nature through guided activities led by trained Teen Explainers. Using
Chihuly’s sculptures as references, children will learn about form, color, and light as seen through the prism of nature in the garden.

A rotating lineup of performing artists and musicians will play at night, further enhancing the experience of viewing CHIHULY. Shopping, food, and themed cocktails will be available for purchase.

A book highlighting CHUHULY will be published by DelMonico Books (Prestel Publishing) is in development.

Visit nybg.org for more information and tickets.

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