To many, large-scale glass sculpture is synonymous with American artist, Dale Chihuly. His bold and exuberant installations in locations as diverse as the Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem and the formal gardens of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, have brought an explosion of color, light, and form to some of the world’s most famous locales.
I was thus eager to visit the Chihuly Collection in St. Petersburg, Florida, a permanent collection that showcases some of the artist’s most popular series, including Macchia, Ikebana, Niijima Floats, Persians and Tumbleweeds. The Ruby Red Icicle Chandelier, created specifically for this space, is breath-taking to behold. We also viewed Chihuly in the Hot Shop, a film showing how Chihuly and some of the world’s greatest glass blowers produced some of his iconic glass sculptures. It requires dexterity, precision, and sheer strength to be a master in this art form. Included in the price of admission is a glass blowing demonstration in the glass studio and hot shop across the street.