Thursday, August 27, 2009

ACGA conference: Dale Chihuly and James Turrell

The Franklin Park Conservatory has a very large collection of Dale Chihuly art in their glasshouse. In 2003/2004 they hosted a huge exhibition of his art which the Friends of the Franklin Park Conservatory then bought for approximately $7 million to be on permanent display in the greenhouse.

These huge glass sculptures are hung in the hallways, from the ceiling, and placed amongst the plants in the conservatory. They also have a huge interpretation center with information about Chihuly, videos showing his art-making process, and a gallery space for more art.

In addition, they currently have a light installation in the palm house that was done by James Turrell. He took LED lights and lined the windows of the palm house with color. They turn on at dusk and off at dawn, slowly changing color from blue to magenta to green to white during the night.

During the conference we had access to the conservatory whenever it was open. One night, while everyone was in a conference room watching a movie, I decided to roam around the conservatory. Apparently no one else had this idea because I had the glasshouses completely to myself. I wandered the rooms for two hours through the oxygen-filled humidity, quietly listening to the waterfalls and the fans turning on and off. I also sat in the palm house watching Turrell's light installation change colors from the inside, so slowly I hardly noticed. Magic.

into a truly
curving form
enters my

feels all small
facts dissolved
by the lewd guess
of fabulous immensity

the sky screamed
the sun died)
the ship lifts
on seas of iron

breathing height eating
steepness the
ship climbs
murmuring silver mountains

was night

and through only this night a
mightily form moves
whose passenger and whose
pilot my spirit is

-e.e. cummings, 1935, No Thanks 36


Nicole said...

Ooh, Dale Chihuly, and another amazing e.e. poem I've never read. There is no bottom to him.

Elizabeth Hallett said...

I love these pics Erica!!! Thanks for posting them. Miss you. I will be in touch soon I swear.

Mom said...

I really enjoyed his work at the Bellagio last year.His chandeliers were amazing.