Hello Friends and Family,

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Desert Botanical Garden: Chihuly, Part 1

During the recent weeks while I have been sharing some of my photos from last year's trip to Maui, the second Chihuly exhibit has come and gone from the Desert Botanical Garden. If you live in Phoenix, I hope you were able to see it in person. For those who were not able to attend, I hope these photos will inspire you for the next exhibit, if another one should make its way to a garden near you.

These glass spikes form the Desert Towers. This set was commissioned for the first Chihuly exhibit here in 2010 — and with a successful fundraising drive, the Desert Botanical Garden was able to purchase the artwork and also provide money for its maintenance.

To me, it was even more spectacular at night.

Just inside the entrance was a new piece, Sapphire Star. Note that this year's Chihuly exhibit was a mixture of mostly new pieces together with a few encores from the previous engagement.

Again the nighttime display was stunning.

[Photographer's note: The Desert Botanical Garden normally closes at 8:00 PM and, during the spring when I was trying to capture the artwork, the sun was setting about 7:00 PM. However, one must allow for twilight to subside so that I only had 45 minutes or less of darker skies for my night photos. Thus it took three nighttime visits to photograph all the pieces on display.

During my last night for photography, I was chatting with one of the docents who revealed that on certain nights, the garden stays open for members (I am one) until midnight. Thus at the end of my photo safari, I discovered that I could have done it all in one night. Oh well, the weather was quite pleasant which made it fun regardless.]

Tucked away just inside the entrance was the Blue Fiori Sun. You can tell a lot of work went into this piece.

Up close, one could see the detailing of each piece of glass. The imagination of what each piece of glass should look like and the execution of the glass-making was truly impressive.

During the exhibit, there was a video being shown that chronicled the work that is done in Chihuly's studio. His success has afforded him the ability to conceptualize and employ others to execute his vision. Interesting that the video even showed a dropped glass item (it was a large globe) — and yes, it shattered into a million pieces.

Advancing along the main path, one encountered the Scarlet Asymmetrical Towers which seemed to denote a gateway into the garden.

The aforementioned video also showed the effort involved in staging an exhibit like this. Each individual piece of glass goes in a precise spot in the support structure.

Dale Chihuly, himself, directed the installation — and as depicted in the video, demands exacting compliance with his vision of how each piece is to be displayed.

The result delights the eye both day and night. Be advised, there are many more pieces to share in the weeks to come. Stay tuned.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com