Chihuly at the Dallas Arboretum

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2012-10-27 Rev.


Dale Chihuly has had a major outdoor garden show in Dallas since summer and I had not attended until almost closing next week, only to find that because evenings have been sold out for so long, the show has been extended to the end of the year. If you have the chance, presentation and the site are well worth seeing. Try to go on a sunny day - I put off my visit because of a dull overcast for two days. Also, if you are as cheap as I, there are discounts on their site for daytime early in the week and the 60 bus stops at the gate, saving a $10 parking fee. The 60 bus runs from Union Station connecting to the Red and Blue lines as well as the TRE to mid-cities and Ft. Worth and it stops at Fair Park on the Green line.

Although I have visited the Dallas Arboretum on White Rock Lake a few times before - it is only 10 minutes away - I had not attended a serious presentation and this time of year (late October) the grounds were set up for Autumn and Pumpkin Patch and the Chihuly show as well as the permanent site features. It is much bigger and more elaborate than my memory of it.

This first set of pictures in one of the permanent site features - a set of small buildings that interpret famous artists houses and are planted with plants of their locale or images. The one below is Monet's bridge and lily pond. Inside each house are child sized furniture and copies of a painting or two directly on the wall. Each house is reasonable for the artist except Georgia O'Keeffe which is more of a stucco ruin/patio and Picasso's which is a cubist maze that kids adore running around and through.

Dallas Arboretum permanent feature - Monet Artist's house

My goal here is more to show glass pieces and settings. The core path east from the secondary entrance I used has many features like the house above, a pumpkin patch with some for sale, and my first encounter with Dale's pieces. The focus piece is called Dallas Star - not sure if it is permanent. To the left are green and white and black and white hollow spiral spears. When pointed out to one woman, she was amazed they grew that way, until she was corrected out that these were the first pieces of glass on the path and she was even more amazed.
Dallas Star and spiral spears at Dale Chihuly Show at Dallas Arboretum

This montage shows some of the settings and some details of five different installations further down the path. It blows up much bigger if you click on it - in most browsers you will also has to click the plus cursor as it will be reduced to fit the screen.
Red Chihuly pieces settings and closeups

Another of the permanent features of arboretum with falling sheets of water from a stucco wall structure, with three different upright arrangements of Dale's glass in the water before the ribbons of light as the sheet breaks up.
Chihuly blue glass snake spears in Arboretum falling water features.

This montage shows some other placements of the glass. The upper left has a view without glass upstream from a bridge over a rocky canyon while to its right is downstream with large hollow blue shapes. In the far eastern point of the display, near the water above (seen in distance lower right) are "plantings" among the upright plants, shown in the lower two panels and the upper right. 
Chihuly glass in Arboretum canyon and plantings

In considerable contrast of color and aspect are these wild tangles of color and the giant glass balls resting in the beds of flowers. In the far lower right corner is the distant finger of a tower of yellow spikes similar in structure to the Dallas Star above.
Chihuly balls in flower beds and tangled towers of various forms in yellow and red

Here three permanent water features of the Arboretum are used to show off the glass. The infinity pool in the upper row normally shares a plain visual aspect with White Rock Lake beyond, now the two loaded boats and array of floating balls are enhanced by dying the water black. Below left shows contrasting sets of linear purple and gleaming shiny plant-like forms in the formal rectangular pools at the end of a long open narrow flow canal (along with a photographer at her work. Cameras abound and several brides were being photographed elsewhere on the grounds.) The Persians at the lower right, in another pool near by, were also the only things damaged in the exhibit during the hail storm that did tens of millions of dollars damage in the area of my house just over a mile away. The broken Persians were replaced in days. One of my first thoughts in looking at the massive hail fall from my porch, which took out all the outdoor art glass at my house, was the fate of this show.
Chihuly boats, spears and Persians in water features
I took over 80 photos on the grounds which include 38 areas named in the brochure. It is harder to define how much glass there is because the 14 labels to Chihuly glass some times appear repeatedly on the map (D at least 4 times) and have multiple named glass items (D has 6) of which there seem to be 32. So my 3 dozen or so photos above short change the quantity. In particular, there are many more towers and up-in-the-air collections than I have shown.


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