Internationally acclaimed artist Dale Chihuly returns to the Atlanta Botanical Garden this spring for an encore exhibition of his spectacular works of art, presented in a setting that has doubled in size since his blockbuster show there in 2004.
Chihuly in the Garden, set for April 30 – October 30, will include 21 sculptural installation sites, all set amongst the Garden’s natural beauty. The artist’s famed colorful work also may be experienced in a different light – at night when the Garden offers extended hours. Two of the installations are being created specifically for the Midtown garden, which in 2016 celebrates its 40th anniversary.
“Atlantans have been begging for 12 years for a revival of this showing of Dale’s exquisite work, and we are ecstatic to finally welcome Chihuly back,” Garden President & CEO Mary Pat Matheson said of the new exhibition, expected to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors from throughout the Southeast. “What better way to celebrate our 40th anniversary than to showcase this phenomenal art, which years ago really put us on the map as a cultural attraction.”
The 2004 Chihuly in the Garden marked one of the Garden’s earliest exhibitions of fine art in what has since become a much-anticipated summertime tradition. The blockbuster event drew a then-record 375,000 visitors, doubling Garden attendance that year to 425,000 and propelling Garden memberships to what was then an all-time high.
Since then, the Midtown attraction has doubled in size with a 2010 expansion into Storza Woods, where new gardens added last spring provide even more beautiful settings for weaving together art and nature.
Matheson said the new exhibition will be presented throughout the Garden, including its exquisite “gardens under glass” – the Fuqua Conservatory and Fuqua Orchid Center. The vibrantly colored artwork can be explored in a variety of botanical displays, including floating in pools, suspended in air, and interspersed with plantings.
Included among the many installations presented throughout the Garden will be a vibrant chartreuse Hornet Chandelier suspended from the Canopy Walk, hovering over bright purple Reeds rising from the forest floor. Nearby, a 30-foot-tall Saffron Tower will stand sentinel at one end of the Water Mirror pool. The neon sculpture shines brilliantly in the woodland garden after nightfall.
Chihuly is credited with revolutionizing the Studio Glass movement and elevating the perception of the glass medium from the realm of craft to fine art. He is renowned for his ambitious architectural installations around the world, in historic cities, museums and gardens. Chihuly’s work is included in more than 200 museum collections worldwide including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Corning Museum of Glass. Major exhibitions include Chihuly Over Venice (1995-96), Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem (1999), Garden Cycle (2001–present), de Young Museum in San Francisco (2008), the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2011), Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond (2012) and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, Canada (2013.) Chihuly Garden and Glass opened at Seattle Center in 2012.
Chihuly Nights will offer extended evening hours, giving visitors a different, yet spectacular experience for viewing the sculptures with dramatic lighting, set against the city’s beautiful skyline. Cocktails will be available at cash bars, and guests may enjoy dinner at the new Linton’s in the Garden restaurant opening in spring.
Chihuly in the Garden is presented with support from The Home Depot Foundation and the Isdell Family Foundation.