News / Arts & Entertainment

    After 50 Years, Pioneer's Glass Art Sparkles

    This installation, called Laguna Torcello, contains 1500 individual pieces of glass. (VOA/S. Logue)
    This installation, called Laguna Torcello, contains 1500 individual pieces of glass. (VOA/S. Logue)
    Susan Logue

    Pioneering artist Dale Chihuly vividly remembers the first time he blew glass nearly five decades ago. 

    “I had never seen glassblowing before, but I remember I had a picture of a glassblower on the wall,” he recalls.  “Once I blew that bubble, that is what I wanted to be, a glassblower.”

    But, for the past 35 years, Chihuly has rarely blown glass himself, not since a car accident robbed him of one eye. A team of glass artists at the Chihuly Studio in Seattle, helps him create monumental works and large scale projects.

    "Almost anything I think of, I can try,” he says.

    With the help of Team Chihuly, he has transformed landscapes, and even cities.


    This year marks the 50th anniversary of the studio art glass movement, which transformed glass from being merely functional into art.

    Chihuly is marking the occasion by bringing his magic to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

    One installation in the exhibit is nearly 20 meters long and is composed of 1500 individual pieces. It’s called Laguna Torcello, after an island in the Venetian Lagoon. 

    “I’m inspired by anything that has to do with Venice," he says, "which is my favorite place in the world.”

    Chihuly drew inspiration from American Indian baskets to create a series of glass blaskets. (VOA/S. Logue)Chihuly drew inspiration from American Indian baskets to create a series of glass blaskets. (VOA/S. Logue)
    x
    Chihuly drew inspiration from American Indian baskets to create a series of glass blaskets. (VOA/S. Logue)
    Chihuly drew inspiration from American Indian baskets to create a series of glass blaskets. (VOA/S. Logue)

    ​His work has also been influenced by American Indian art and design.

    His collection of blankets and woven baskets are displayed along with the glass baskets they inspired.

    Chihuly is inspired by nature, which led him to create tall, thin glass reeds.

    And by floats used by fishermen in Japan. 

    One of his creations features an old, wooden boat overflowing with the colorful orbs.

    But above all, the artist says he is inspired by the glass itself. 

    Chihuly has been creating Persian Ceilings since 1992, but each is unique. In this detail, you can see a starfish, one of many hidden objects among the 1000 pieces of glass. (VOA/S. Logue)Chihuly has been creating Persian Ceilings since 1992, but each is unique. In this detail, you can see a starfish, one of many hidden objects among the 1000 pieces of glass. (VOA/S. Logue)
    x
    Chihuly has been creating Persian Ceilings since 1992, but each is unique. In this detail, you can see a starfish, one of many hidden objects among the 1000 pieces of glass. (VOA/S. Logue)
    Chihuly has been creating Persian Ceilings since 1992, but each is unique. In this detail, you can see a starfish, one of many hidden objects among the 1000 pieces of glass. (VOA/S. Logue)

    “This material is so phenomenal, and with light," he says. "There are very few materials that light goes through.  When it does, it can be pretty amazing.”

    And it is, most notably in his “Persian Ceiling,” an installation he has been creating since 1992. Each one is unique. 

    The one at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is composed of more than 1000 individual pieces of glass in a variety of colors. Here and there are hidden treasures: a putti, or cherub, a starfish or an octopus.

    Chihuly says he sometimes misses blowing glass himself, but adds, “I’d rather be doing it the way I’m doing it, which is, I get to be the director.” 

    Now 71, and already an icon, Chihuly is not interested in retiring.  “As long as I’m making good shows and good pieces, I’ll probably do it for a while longer.”

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    Diplomats Hope to Revive Cradle of Civilization After Defeat of IS

    Diplomats from around globe gather at US State Department, discuss how to rebuild minority communities shattered by Islamic State group

    Women Voters Look Past Gender in Assessing Clinton

    She's the first female presidential nominee, but party identification, other factors outweigh gender

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    New in Music Alley

    Take It From The Top: Stanley Jordani
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    May 17, 2016 5:01 PM
    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously. He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously.  He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

     

     

     

     

    Blogs