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Breathtaking Chihuly Exhibition Among Meijer Gardens' Largest
“Blue Moon” and “Walla Wallas” in the Hekman Pond at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, MI. Photo: Parks Anderson.

GRAND RAPIDS, MI.- Few American artists can capture the attention of millions the way Dale Chihuly can, and Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, one of the nation’s most significant sculpture and botanic experiences, will celebrate the masterwork of Chihuly with a breathtaking and exclusive outdoor sculpture exhibition, April 30 - September 30, 2010.

“Chihuly at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park: A New Eden” will include thousands of pieces of glass in 15 different settings across the 132-acre grounds. Each site-specific sculpture will harmonize with the surrounding natural environment, and bright, bold horticulture designs will change with the seasons.

“This exhibition celebrates one of the world’s foremost glass artist and his much-anticipated return to Meijer Gardens,” said Joseph Becherer, chief curator and vice president. “Specifically created for this exhibition, Chihuly’s sculptural glass infuses his expression of nature with the stunning landscape of our grounds.”

For “A New Eden,” Chihuly and his team are working with the Meijer Gardens Horticultural team to celebrate the duality of art and nature. Chosen sites span the grounds of Meijer Gardens including the English Perennial Garden, Woodland Shade Garden, Lena Meijer Children’s Garden, wetland areas and the 30-acre Sculpture Park.

Citron Green and Red Tower, an explosive, 16-foot-tall sculpture set in the stately English Perennial Garden, greets Meijer Gardens’ guests as they enter. Throughout the indoor gardens, Neon Tumbleweed Chandeliers cascade light into the Arid Garden and Polyvitro Chandeliers, Ikebana, Baskets, Macchia and Persians highlight the Lena Meijer Conservatory.

The outdoor galleries of the Sculpture Park provide a seasonal experience for the mind and eye. Even before entering the Sculpture Park, the majestic Rose Crystal Tower, invites visitors to explore the wonders of the Meijer Gardens’ outdoor masterpiece. Visitors will the see The Sun and all its glory in the Cultural Commons and The Moon in the neighboring Groves.

“Horticulture and sculpture are fully unified in this exhibition. The landscaping incorporates our natural terrain in addition to large-scale expression of bold colors, textures and patterns complimentary to Chihuly’s work,” said Steve LaWarre, director of horticulture at Meijer Gardens. “Among the most beautiful discoveries that visitors will find is how ‘A New Eden’ will change between April and September. Color, light, and shadows will delicately evolve with plants and glass as we move from spring and summer into autumn.”

“’A New Eden’ is a highlight of our 15-year anniversary,” said David Hooker, president and CEO. “It is significant to showcase an artist who portrays our dual mission so magnificently.”

Meijer Gardens has a long and rewarding relationship with Dale Chihuly. ‘A New Eden’ is the sculptor’s second exhibition at Meijer Gardens. “Color & Light: Chihuly at the Gardens” was an indoor exhibition held in 2003. The exhibition saw more than a half-million visitors in four months.

In addition to the exhibition, two permanent installations are on display: Gilded Champagne Gardens Chandelier, in the Grand Atrium, and the newly installed Lena’s Garden suspended from the ceiling of the Taste of the Gardens Café.

World-renowned artist Dale Chihuly (b. 1941) was first introduced to glass while studying interior design at the University of Washington. He continued his studies at Rhode Island School of Design, where he later established the glass program and taught for more than a decade. Through the Fulbright Fellowship, Chihuly studied in Venice, which exposed him to the team approach to glass blowing. Later, he returned to Washington State and founded the Pilchuck Glass School, where he continues to lead the way in fine art glass blowing. He has since been awarded eight honorary doctorates and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Chihuly’s well-known series of works include Baskets, Persians and Seaforms. His work is included in more than two hundred museum collections worldwide. Chihuly’s lifelong affinity for glass houses has grown into a series of exhibitions with botanical settings.

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park | Joseph Becherer | Dale Chihuly |

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