Fridays and theatre nights 10a–7:30p
No Longer On Display
Contact the Box Office at 719.634.5583
Enjoy a guided tour of the FAC Galleries! Choose from a variety of tour programs or have a custom designed tour. Available for adult and student groups. Contact us to help you plan your visit: 719.475.2444 or email@example.com
Own Your Own!
Dale Chihuly, Orange Hornet
Special Edition Prints created exclusively
for the Fine Arts Center.
Only one left! $4,500
Information: call 719.634.5583
Orange Hornet Chandelier (detail), 1993, 9 x 6 x 6,' Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, installed 2007
Now extended through Oct. 19, 2014!
This dazzling exhibition builds on the state’s largest permanent collection of Chihuly artwork. The exhibition features more than 50 works of art, including Chandeliers, Macchia Forest, Baskets, Seaforms, Persians, Drawings and more. Included are works from our permanent collection as well as pieces loaned from local collectors.
We are happy to announce that we will be partnering with Denver Botanic Gardens, which is planning the first major outdoor Chihuly exhibit in the Rocky Mountain region starting in June. When you buy a ticket to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center’s Chihuly Rediscovered, you’ll get $5 off the Denver Botanic Gardens show and vice versa.
ABOUT DALE CHIHULY
Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, Dale Chihuly was introduced to glass while studying interior design at the University of Washington. After graduating in 1965, Chihuly enrolled in the first glass program in the country, at the University of Wisconsin. He continued his studies at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he later established the glass program and taught for more than a decade.
In 1968, after receiving a Fulbright Fellowship, he went to work at the Venini glass factory in Venice. There he observed the team approach to blowing glass, which is critical to the way he works today. In 1971, Chihuly cofounded Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State. With this international glass center, Chihuly has led the avant-garde in the development of glass as a fine art.
In 1976, while Chihuly was in England, he was involved in a head-on car accident during which he flew through the windshield. His face was severely cut by glass and he was blinded in his left eye. After recovering, he continued to blow glass until he dislocated his right shoulder in a 1979 bodysurfing accident. No longer able to hold the glass blowing pipe, he hired others to do the work. Chihuly explained the change in a 2006 interview, saying "Once I stepped back, I liked the view" and pointing out that it allowed him to see the work from more perspectives and enabled him to anticipate problems faster. Chihuly describes his role as "more choreographer than dancer, more supervisor than participant, more director than actor."
His work is included in more than 200 hundred museum collections worldwide. He has been the recipient of many awards, including twelve honorary doctorates and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Chihuly has created more than a dozen well-known series of works, among them Cylinders and Baskets in the 1970s; Seaforms, Macchia, Venetians, and Persians in the 1980s; Niijima Floats and Chandeliers in the 1990s; and Fiori in the 2000s. He is also celebrated for large architectural installations. In 1986, he was honored with a solo exhibition, Dale Chihuly objets de verre, at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Palais du Louvre, in Paris. In 1995, he began Chihuly Over Venice, for which he created sculptures at glass factories in Finland, Ireland, and Mexico, then installed them over the canals and piazzas of Venice.
In 1999, Chihuly started an ambitious exhibition, Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem; more than 1 million visitors attended the Tower of David Museum to view his installations. In 2001, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London curated the exhibition Chihuly at the V&A. Chihuly’s lifelong fascination for glasshouses has grown into a series of exhibitions within botanical settings. His Garden Cycle began in 2001 at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago. Chihuly exhibited at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, near London, in 2005. Other major exhibition venues include the de Young Museum in San Francisco, in 2008; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 2011; and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, in 2013. Chihuly Garden and Glass, a long-term exhibition, opened at Seattle Center in 2012.
HISTORY OF GLASS BLOWING
Dating from 37 to 4 BC, the art of glass blowing evolved into the “studio glass movement” in 1962 when Harvey Littleton, a ceramics professor, and Dominick Labino, a chemist and engineer, held two workshops at the Toledo Museum of Art, during which they started experimenting with melting glass in a small furnace and creating blown glass art. Littleton promoted the use of small furnaces in individual artists studios. This approach to glassblowing blossomed into a worldwide movement, producing such flamboyant and prolific artists as Dale Chihuly, Dante Marioni, Fritz Driesbach and Marvin Lipofsky as well as scores of other modern glass artists. Today there are many different institutions around the world that offer glassmaking resources for training and sharing equipment.
Working with large or complex pieces requires a team of several glassworkers, in a complex choreography of precisely timed movements. This practical requirement has encouraged collaboration among glass artists, in both semi-permanent and temporary working groups.
Colorado Springs Independent | The FAC unveils yet another Chihuly show, reinforcing a decade of glass obsession
Colorado Springs Independent | In detail
Colorado Springs Independent | Five ways that Chihuly glass should NOT be used
The Gazette | Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center opens Chihuly exhibit
Colorado Springs Style Magazine | Chihuly Rediscovered
Colorado Public Radio | Five Questions: Curator Blake Milteer on Colorado Springs’ passion for Dale Chihuly
Denver Business Journal | Colorado has big plans for Dale Chihuly
Take a class at the Bemis School of Art | Below are upcoming classes that teach the artistic media reflected in Chihuly's work. The Bemis School of Art offers three semesters of classes and workshops in 20 different disciplines taught by professional instructors for students of all ages and abilities.
Oct. 10 One-Day Workshop
We'll explore the galleries of Chihuly glass for inspiration and return to the studio to paint large, clear plastic bottles with designs from the glass forms. After the paint dries the bottles are cut to create long strands of plastic. We'll curl them with a heat gun to achieve organic shapes.
Oct. 11 One-Day Workshop
Let's tour the collection of Chihuly works for inspiration. While in the galleries, we'll sketch our designs for faux vessels with organic and geometric patterns. Designs, patterns and color will come alive when our sketches are transferred onto plastic cups and placed into a toaster oven at a low temperature to shrink and distort the shape of the cup. The process creates a glass-like vessel.
Orange Hornet Chandelier
Originally installed in Venice in 1993, Chihuly specifically redesigned this chandelier for the Fine Arts Center’s expansion completed in August, 2007. New glass elements, some as small as 8 inches, others as large as 3 feet, were added to the original configuration, for a total of 384 pieces. The chandelier now weighs about 1,200 pounds and took Chihuly's team two full days to install.
Soft Cylinders and Navajo Blanket Cylinder
In 1974, Chihuly, working with a group of friends, discovered a way to pull colored glass rods into thin threads which could be picked up onto the outside of a gather of hot glass. The hot glass was then formed into the shape of a cylinder, which in its simplicity acted like a canvas for the drawings in glass. From this came the Navajo Blanket Cylinder series begun in 1975, influenced by the artist's interest in Navajo textiles. These small pieces have the most direct connection to the FAC's outstanding collection of American Indian art.
Chihuly said that in 1981 he realized that he had been using too few colors. Wanting to employ the full range of hues available for glass making, he developed a method of using layers of white to separate colors on the interior and exterior. Surfaces of these pieces had numerous spots of vibrant color. When a friend explained that the Italian word for "spotted" was "macchia," the title was adopted for this series. Macchia are often displayed in large groupings of individual pedestals, which the artist calls Macchia Forests. The Macchia Forest has been among the most popular Chihuly installations at the FAC.
The FAC's yellow-hued Persian wall is perhaps the most mysterious Chihuly piece installed here. Chihuly's first Persians were made in 1986. He had been working on an eccentric group of brightly colored and unusually shaped objects. They seemed "archaeological," like treasures excavated from the ancient world. Since glass was first made in the Ancient Near East, Persian was a logical title for the series. The Persians have undulating forms that allude to desert winds as well as rich patterning that reflects a fusion of Eastern and Western cultural traditions.