Glass Sculptor Dale Chihuly Celebrates Summer
Chihuly's "Red Reeds on Log" at New York Botanical Garden's pond.
"Macchia Forest" is one of Chihuly's works featured at NY Botanical Garden.
Chihuly's "Neon" is one of the illuminated sculptures best seen at night.
The "White Tower with Fiori" is one of the garden's most beautiful works.

Through October 29, the New York Botanical Garden will be showcasing more than 20 beautiful installations by world-renowned glass sculptor Dale Chihuly. Chihuly, sponsored by Bank of America, features artwork and sketches from throughout Chihuly’s career, giving viewers a look inside the artist’s creative process. An experiment in light, color, and form, the nature-inspired sculptures were designed specifically for the Bronx’s famous botanical garden, utilizing the scenic park as a canvas. One of the pieces will be a massive reimagining of Chihuly’s famous 1975 Artpark installation, and will be incorporated with water in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory Courtyard’s Tropical Pool. The exhibition will be Chihuly’s first in New York for more than 10 years and, judging from the reaaction of Chris Heywood, Senior VP Global Communications at NYC & Company, who said, “It just blew me away!” you’ll think it’s an amazing show, too.

Meeting an Artist and Educator

Dale Chihuly has been sculpting glass for over 40 years. Originally an interior design student, Chihuly was introduced to glass sculpting while enrolled in the University of Washington. He then joined the first glass-sculpting program in the country at the University of Wisconsin, and later founded the glass program at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he taught for over a decade.

After receiving a Fulbright Fellowship in 1968, Chihuly went to work in a glass factory in Venice, where he perfected the team approach to glass sculpting. “I want people to be overwhelmed by light and color in a way they have never experienced.” says Chihuly. His work has been seen in museums, gardens, and historic cities around the world. With over 200 museum collections, 12 honorary doctorates, and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Chihuly is recognized as a premier architect and sculptor.

Solstice in the Garden

This summer catch the summer solstice celebration at New York Botanical Garden. Arrive early on June 17, 2017 to do morning Yoga to the People at 10am, or bring the kids for music and movement at Yogo-rama from 11am to noon. In the afternoon enjoy poetry readings, as winners of the Chihuly Poetry Walk share their winning poems on the conservatory lawn. Then at 1pm head over to the visitor center for live flame works and glass blowing demonstrations. End the night with games and live entertainment on the lawn. The whole event is free, so make sure to arrive early to claim your spot on the grass.

Chihuly Entertainment

Chihuly at Night features live entertainment while guests dine, shop, and explore the park’s grounds. The sculptures are kept on at night, illuminating the night sky in a magical display of color.

On Saturdays and Sundays through October 29, 2017, come to the NYBG to watch screenings of Dale Chihuly’s creative process. The short films will feature early work and insight into the evolution of Chihuly and his sculptures. The films will also hint at Chihuly’s newest ideas and where his art will take him. Screenings are from 10am-5pm, and are free and open to the public.

On Fridays (June 16, July 14, and August 18) lovers of Jazz will enjoy the Summer Concert Series: Jazz and Chihuly. In the presence of illuminated glass sculptures guests will be treated to the sounds of the latest jazz talent, celebrating the style of music that has captivated fans for decades. Next to the domed conservatory the concert series will last from 6:30pm-10pm and guests are encouraged to roam around and look at the glass sculptures. The combination of art and music is sure to draw in large crowds, so make sure you arrive early to get a good seat. Tickets are $40 for members and $45 for non-members. Doors open at 6pm.

A Grand Hotel with a Chihuly Show

The NYBG has partnered with the Grand Hyatt to bring visitors a hotel room and a special admission package. Get a 10% discount on room rates at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, and make your trip to the New York Botanical Garden easier because the hotel is directly connected to Grand Central Terminal. Guests can leave their hotel room and arrive at the Chihuly exhibit in about 20 minutes. The package includes round-trip tickets for two to the NYBG on Metro-North Railroad’s direct route to the garden. You’ll also receive shopping and dining discounts at the park. For more information and other events at the New York Botanical Garden, visit the NY Botanical Garden site or call 718/817-8700. Please note that the west side #2 and east side #6 subways also go there.

Other Chihuly Events in the U.S.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of Chihuly Garden and Glass at the Seattle Center in Seattle, Washington. On Saturday, May 20 from 1:00-4:00 pm there will be a special event celebrating the continuation of diverse arts education in the local Seattle community. The program features live glass-blowing demonstrations, screen-printing, and flame-working. The Seattle Center will also be issuing a scholarship award to an emerging artist who specializes in glass sculpting. Children under 4 are admitted free to this event. 

Travelers have two other places to see new work by Chihuly this summer: Iowa and Washington. From now until October 2017, the Dale Chihuly Venetians, an exhibit inspired by a romantic trip to Venice, will be coming to the National Czech and Slovak Museum in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Over 70 glass works of mythological creatures, figurative sculptures, perfume bottle inspired vessels and a collection of drawings will be on display at the show. Take some time to create your own foam sculpture molded after the Chihuly style in a fun activity suitable for the whole family! General admission to the museum is $10; $3 for youth ages 6-13.

Photos: courtesy Dale Chihuly and the New York Botanical Gardens

Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.