Last June I wrote a post titled When Art and Nature Convene about my pre-lunch visit to the Chihuly exhibit at the Botanical Gardens. Three friends and I spent about two hours ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the magnificent blown glass on display throughout the expanse of the garden. Which is why I almost said no when my friend Jaime invited me on one of the art excursions that she has taken upon herself to organize for a battery of friends.
Her event is the artistic mirror image of my theater group with some value adds. Jaime selects the location, as in today’s choice, The New York Botanical Garden. She then arranges a tour guide, hands each person a ticket upon arrival, and off we go to learn about the installation. Very efficient, very turn key and a no brainer for folks who want to get out and explore NYC and it’s environs. Each one of Jaime’s events sells out and has a waiting list.
Happily, I said yes to this tour. As it turns out, all our gallivanting about last June barely scratched the glass blown Chihuly surface. There was so much more to see and certainly more to learn as my visit now included a very knowledgeable and passionate about blown glass guide. She marched the twenty of us around, invited us to share our thoughts on what we saw and was eager to share hers.
The size and scope of the exhibit is daunting. Apparently the artist has some 80 assistants that help him bring the creations in his brain to life. No longer able to blow glass himself (apparently one ages out of this at around 40 – so there goes that career aspiration!), he is now considered a lead gaffer and instructs glass blowers to do his bidding. We learned a bit about the history of glass making and our guide did a great job making us think through the pervasiveness of glass. I certainly will bestow more respect on the next wine glass I encounter.
The guide shared with us the Chihuly quote, “I’ve never met a color I didn’t like.” I have to appreciate and respect a man who says this and I agree. His exhibit is a celebration of color, light, shape, and structure, all juxtaposed within the spectacular nature that houses it.
Next I have to see this exhibit at night. As such, I will be grabbing my group and going back on October 14th @ 6:30pm for Chihuly nights. Join us!