Dale Chihuly is an American glass artist. The first Chihuly work I'd ever seen was the glass ceiling in Bellagio's in Las Vegas. Stunning when you first see it, and you'll have a crook in your neck by the time you tire of looking at it, if you even do.
Then Mom and I went to see his exhibit at Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio, in 2004. Various glass creations were interspersed among the flora there and I became an official fan. Nearly the entire exhibit was acquired as a permanent exhibit and includes more than 3000 pieces of glass.
The next place I saw a Chihuly was when Romie and I visited the William J. Clinton Presidential Library & Museum in Little Rock, Arkansas in 2005. Chihuly presented the Clintons with an 11-foot, 1000 pound glass tree, worth $22,000. Usually his glass works are brilliantly colorful, but this one is white. If you're familiar with Chihuly's work at all, you'll recognize it as such.
Presently, there are three exhibitions in the United States, including one at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It runs from May 10 - November 11, 2007 and I hope to get there before it closes. I've not visited Phipps, so Chihuly or not, I'd like to see it.
So which came first - my love of Chihuly glass or the Chihuly rose? It was the glass, but when I saw the rose in bloom and discovered its name, I knew I had to have it. It has never disappointed me with any of its blooms and it truly is aptly named. Its brilliant - sometimes shocking - color variations are reminiscent of Chihuly's glass works.