Monday, November 25, 2013

CHIHULY GLASS SCULPTURES, Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, Arizona, Guest Post by Cathy Bonnell

Chiluly Sculpture, Phoenix AZ Botanical Garden
Cathy Bonnell is a good friend who lives in Phoenix, Arizona.  She is a retired elementary school librarian who continues to be passionate about children’s books and children’s books art. I have visited the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix in the summer, but her report makes me want to make a special visit in the winter to see the amazing glass sculptures installed there.  Here is her report:

Even though the Arizona desert is green and growing, there is not much blooming in the winter. So it's the perfect time of year for the Desert Botanical Garden of Phoenix to install Chihuly glass throughout the 140 acres of desert plants. The natural outdoor setting lends itself to the unusual shapes and vibrant colors of artist Dale Chihuly's blown glass sculptures. This new exhibition is the second time the Desert Botanical Garden has hosted Chihuly glass to sold out crowds.
After a tasty dinner of fish tacos at Gertrude's--the Garden's new restaurant–my friends and I found the best time to see this stunning site was at night when the crowds have thinned. The marked and lighted trails throughout the garden took us on an adventure around every corner, where enormous glass spires or curly stakes of colored glass stood among the natural plants for dramatic impact. As you may know, the desert can be cold at night in the winter, so we bundled up and just slightly ignored the predictions of rain. I felt like a child who sees a huge decorated and lit Christmas tree to see these amazing pieces--oooh's and ahhhh's escaping from my mouth at every piece. 

A short film of how Chihuly makes the glass pieces, which are then assembled on site, is available for viewing in one of the small buildings. And, of course, a dedicated gift shop sells small but four figure-priced pieces of Chihuly glass. We came back to the stunning blue and white starburst piece at the entrance just as huge rain drops began to fall.

Desert Botanical Garden
1201 North Galvin Parkway
Phoenix, AZ 85008

For directions, hours, and information about tickets go to

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