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The Organic Whimsey of Dale Chihuly

The Transformative Power of Architecture
February 17, 2019
The Organic Whimsey of Dale Chihuly
by Evan

I never liked Chihuly's work—didn’t understand the fuss. The corporate lobby installations that I knew him for seemed strange and extravagantly out of place. While heading to New York Botanical Garden on a hot day last July to see the much-lauded Chihuly installation, my plan was to while away my time in the shade of a big tree and wait till it was over. I was simply unprepared to love the show, but I did. I loved it.

Out in the open air, Chihuly's work activated the Garden in ways that complimented an already beautiful and fully realized creative vision--the park itself. In every setting, the architectural installation of fantastical glass was both eerily organic and otherworldly, but somehow always right. The work effectively drew me into a conversation about making, meaning, materials, emotions, interior, and exterior spaces, and figure and ground. I was deeply moved by the harmony of it all and learned again how powerful and limitless creativity can be.