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Chihuly in the Garden
Atlanta Botanical Garden
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Atlanta Botanical Garden held the largest exposition of Chihuly glass from May 1, 2004 through October 30, 2004. As a direct result of the extremely successful show attendance at the Gardens increased to more than 7500 people per day during the show

Dale Chihuly

Translucent blues of Dale Chihuly
Chihuly - His name is synonymous with the modern Studio Glass Movement. He took the art of glass from single-kiln studios to a village of artists working on a central theme, creating a unique rendering of form and fashion that pays homage to the translucent nature of glass. And when he brought his unique style to the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Dale Chihuly personally supervised the selection, placement and installation of the art that his village studio created.

"Glass flowers" grow alongside real ones
Dale Chihuly did not begin his adult life as a glass artist. He studied both interior design and architecture before becoming enchanted by the beauty of glass, enrolling in a pilot program at the University of Wisconsin to study hot glass. After matriculating, Chihuly continued to study at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. By the end of the 1960's Chihuly had begun to experiment with specialized equipment to heat and shape glass.

Chihuly and the Studio Glass Movement

Dale had something else in mind, though. The studio glass movement had developed in the 1930's as single-kiln shops or single artists at large glass making operations who would oversee production glasswork then use the production equipment in their spare time. Chihuly began to build a community of glass artists who would retain creative independence but collaborate on projects. The idea has had a major impact on the art of glass-blowing.

Complex design is a hallmark of Chihuly art
In 1971 Chihuly founded the Pilchuck School in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. The school not only teaches the art of glass to students, it routinely attracts internationally-famous glass artists to update their skills. Additionally in 1970's Dale Chihuly suffered two major setbacks. He lost an eye in an auto accident, and an arm and foot in a bodysurfing accident. These loses ended his glassblowing career.

Today he oversees the village he created, giving general directions for the artists, who then use their talents to create Chihuly's vision.

Chihuly in the Garden

In creating the display for the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, Dale Chihuly used maps and digital photographs. Unlike many glass artists, Chihuly does not believe that the job is done when the work is created. He believes that the display of the work is a major part of the artistry, and at the "Bot" he has definitely accomplished that task.

Each piece has been placed artistically in an appropriate setting. For example, a green and yellow Venus Fly Trap occupies a space in a steamy clime. Throughout the fifteen acres of formal gardens are other Chihuly creations, from tiny to huge. The largest pieces of glass art adorn the ancient pots and the new fountains on the grounds of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, while the smallest can be found just about anywhere. A 15 minute video introduction to both Dale Chihuly and his art was also presented.

About the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Glass orbs decorate a frog pond
Carved out of Atlanta's Piedmont Park in 1976, the Botanical Gardens contain both formal gardens and native plantings. The Gardens have about two miles of organized trails outside of the fifteen acre formal gardens. Food and beverages may be purchased on-site.

Atlanta Botanical Garden1345 Piedmont Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: 404-876-5859

County: Fulton County

Atlanta Botanical Garden


Directions to the Gardens:

Take the Downtown Connector to Exit 250, Techwood Drive / 10th Street / 14th Street. Continue on the access road to 14th Street. Travel east on 14th for .7 miles (be careful of lanes turning into right and left turn only lanes). Turn left on Piedmont Avenue and continue .4 miles to the Atlanta Botanical Garden entrance on the right. The road winds through the attraction to a parking lot in the back. Parking can be a problem on weekends.

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