The Beauty of Glass (Chihuly)

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I love touching things.  Sewing my own clothes and later, doing needlepoint, were great outlets for me.  I revel in the textures of rough, smooth, silky, grainy, and everything in-between.  Glass and leather are particularly fascinating to me.  Their smoothness and appearance sing little songs for me to touch and look at them, whether it be my collection of paperweights or small leather change purses.

So when the Virginia Museum of Fine Art announced an exhibit of Chihuly’s art, I called quickly for members tickets the night before the grand opening.  I know from experience that the crowds are smaller and more manageable than if I wait and use my member pass later when an exhibit is open to the general public.

I took this from several angles and each time it reminded me of an eyeball. It’s not; it’s got a flower in the middle. But still, I wonder if he didn’t intend it to be an eyeball.

My favorite boy toy and I ate a quick supper at Panera and got ourselves to the museum.  It was crowded!  We had to wait for parking, which we’ve never had happen before.  Many people walking in were dressed formally, making us wonder if there was another event there at the same time (we never did find that out).

This reminded me of a many limbed octopus.
Notice the reflection on the floor?

The dancers were there again too, although it seemed to be more slow dancing than tango dancing.  The crowd for that was large, both the dancers and the spectactors.  A number of the dancers were elderly – and I mean pretty old.  They were having a good time with it and moved around the floor gracefully.

This is a number of small pieces overhead with the light shining down through them. There were all kinds of color combinations and it blended together into a pleasing montage.

I didn’t bring my nice camera with for the exhibit a the tickets clearly stated that no pictures could be taken in the special exhibitions (photos are allowed in the permanent exhibits).  As we entered the exhibit, the first thing we noticed was all the cell phones being held up for pictures!  So I started snapping away.

I couldn’t get far enough away to show how far down the wall the reflections went. People just stood under there, staring up at it. A few even laid on the floor and everyone just walked around them.

My boy toy wandered over to a volunteer and asked about the cameras.  It turns out that Dale Chihuly expressly asked the museum to allow his work to be photographed by visitors.  Smart man!  Think of all the postings on the social media that happened after seeing this exhibit.  Of course, it’s pretty hard to duplicate his work unless you have access to a blast furnace and heavy moving equipment.

Even the smaller pieces were delicate and intricate.

I admire Chihuly’s creative vision and all the ways he thinks of to display glass and its reflections.  The bowls below had a second larger exhibit across from it that reflected purples, oranges, blues and other colors.  My cell phone camera didn’t like it much, but I plan to go back with my better camera and get more shots to share with everyone.

The next two pictures were from a large exhibit that contained many facets to it, from the white and red tree below to a gold tree, white lotus type flower, and low flat mushrooms.  Although the colors were jumbled, it was fun to walk around and see what was lurking in the exhibit.  At the very far right below, you see the white at the top.  Some of those white pieces had star fish, baby octopus, whelks, and other sea creatures.

I vacillated between laughing at how neat it all was, quietly contemplating it, and running after the next picture.  I couldn’t quite settle on an emotion that night as it was pretty overwhelming with all the things that were there.  The was a lot of energy in the crowds that night too, which impacted me.  The museum is definitely a place for hanging out after a long workweek.

My boy toy wasn’t too nuts about this exhibit below, but it reminded me of the violent thunderstorms in the Chicago area.  The lightening would roll in off Lake Michigan and the sky would light up over and over again.  Some nights it was one huge column of lightening after another striking the ground.  Other nights it stayed up higher just jabbing out in multiple directions like this picture and its reflection.

I came home grateful for the opportunity to see this, happy I got so many good pictures, and tired.  As much as we love going to the museum on Friday nights, it doesn’t seem to be but about two hours and we’re ready to leave.  Of course, only living 20 minutes away makes it much easier to do the museum in small chunks.

For more information about Dale Chihuly, visit his website or see the article on Wikipedia.