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Chihuly at the Dallas Arboretum: a must see and see again



Glass is just so special—it’s a combination of heat and fire, all natural things, and it’s one of the few materials you can see through in a large canvas,” says Dale Chihuly.
Chihuly’s “Garden Cycle” is inspired by nature. The Dallas Arboretum is so lucky to enjoy the beautiful Chihuly glass installations until November 5th.  People in the Dallas area should go at least twice…take your children during the day and then go again at night for a romantic “Chihuly Nights” (concerts in the garden showcasing Chihuly’s sculptures illuminated beneath the moon).
Just as plants grow and change with the seasons, the Chihuly exhibit changes its appearance in day and night. Again…go more than once!  
Last week, Dallas had a major hail storm and one of the pieces suffered some damage. Chihuly had known there would be a chance of hail in Dallas during his exhibit here but had said, “Well, we’ve withstood hurricanes in Miami. Glass is sturdier than it looks.” Thankfully, the damage was minimal and has already been repaired.
Glass sculptures are not usually displayed outdoors. Chihuly’s pieces seem so fragile; with that fragility comes a soft freshness that compliments nature…the sun, plants and especially the water. Art is in nature just as the poets Emerson, Thoreau and Whitman agreed on. “This world is but a canvas to our imagination.” ~Thoreau
My favorite exhibit is overlooking Dallas’ White Rock Lake, with two wooden boats floating in an infinity pool. One boat is filled with different size glass balls and the other has bright colored branches. It has a very Zen-like quality.

Chihuly’s glass installations are so well suited around ponds, plants, and waterfalls. His work is organic and it seems to flow seamlessly with the outdoors.
He gained an appreciation for plants and flowers from his mother’s garden in Tacoma, Washington.  
Dale Chihuly and his wife Leslie

Chihuly isn’t a gallery kind of artist, he thinks outside the museum box. With the loss of one eye (from a car accident in England), he changed his work method and began to question why glass objects needed to be symmetrical.
Chihuly’s exhibit is an educational and cultural experience for all ages. It was a sight to see my young children running around searching for butterflies and bunnies (which we saw plenty of) while being surrounded by art.
Jane Austen said, “To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.” She was so right…visiting The Dallas Arboretum was like a cool glass of lemonade for the soul.  Chihuly’s art is refreshing to the eyes; viewing brilliant colors with a child-like newness.
I read that Vincent Van Gogh’s colorful paintings were inspirational to Chihuly. Seeing Chihuly’s colors, I can see the similarities. Van Gogh’s swirly brush strokes are very similar to Chihuly’s ribbon-like coils of glass. I imagine Van Gogh would have painted a second Starry Night, had he seen “Chihuly Nights” at the Dallas Arboretum.
Seeing Chihuly at the Dallas Arboretum was a joyful experience that I’m sure I will remember forever.  It was like seeing picturesque poetry of Chihuly’s dreams. The display is likely to add smiles to the sweet dreams of all who have the opportunity to see it.

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