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Dale Chihuly Works Featured in Eight-Month Exhibition at
Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Opening May 9, 2010

Site-specific Installation Includes Works from
Venetian, Ikebana, Persian, Macchia, Seaforms, Mille Fiori Series

NASHVILLE, TENN.—(March 24, 2010)— There are few contemporary artists whose name is as synonymous with the medium in which he works as Dale Chihuly, who is widely regarded as the most innovative glass artist working today. Active since the 1960s, Chihuly is credited with almost single handedly elevating the postwar American studio glass movement to the international prominence it now enjoys.

During an eight-month exhibition in the Frist Center for the Visual Arts’ Upper-Level Galleries, the unsurpassed mastery of the artist and his Seattle glass-studio collaborators will be on view in nine installations drawn from some of Chihuly’s most acclaimed series. Chihuly at the Frist will open to the public Sunday, May 9, 2010, and remain on view through Jan. 2, 2011.

“We are delighted to present the work of Dale Chihuly, whose international stature and acclaim stem from the boldness with which he honors ancient glassmaking traditions while exploding them into configurations of pure color, transformed space, and exuberant natural form. Chihuly has bridged the divides that separate craft from fine art, populist appeal from artistic rigor, and visual pleasure from the expression of human meaning,” said Frist Center Executive Director Susan H. Edwards, Ph.D.

For this exhibition at the Frist Center, Chihuly and his artisan assistants are presenting new works and works drawn from his most important series of the past three decades in an installation designed specifically for the Frist Center’s galleries. Among the featured series are Venetians, a brilliantly colored and intricately formed group of works that was inspired in 1988 by a famed Italian glass master; Ikebana, which was informed by the Japanese art of flower arranging; Persians, conjuring the exotic and enchanted lands of the Far East; Macchia, borne of Chihuly’s desire to use hundreds of colors in rippling forms based on vases created in the famed Venini glass factory in Venice; and Seaforms, which celebrates the waving and rippling shapes and rhythms of underwater life. In addition, the exhibition will include a spectacular Mille Fiori (a thousand flowers) garden and the Sea Blue and Green Tower, a mammoth sculpture that masses colorful, curving forms in a large-scale work that rises nearly ten feet tall and occupies an entire gallery.

Also on exhibition will be a wall of Chihuly’s drawings that serve as independent works of art and “blueprints” to communicate and inspire his glassblowers to bring his designs to life and to improvise on the themes he has created.

The acclaimed documentary Chihuly in the Hotshop will be on continuous view in the Upper-Level Galleries throughout the exhibition. Directed by Peter West, the film follows the artist in 2006, as he worked in the Museum of Glass’s hotshop in Tacoma, Wash., an amphitheatre designed specifically to allow the public to view artists at work. The film received its premiere at the 2008 Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Frist Center, Cheekwood and Nashville Symphony Collaborate
In addition to the Frist Center, Dale Chihuly’s work also will be seen at the Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art and at performances of the Nashville Symphony. In an unprecedented collaboration, the three institutions are joining forces to cross-promote and offer reciprocal discounts to their members and subscribers.

“Not only is it wonderful to have Dale Chihuly’s work in Nashville, it is a pleasure to collaborate so closely and well with our sister cultural institutions, Cheekwood and the Nashville Symphony, to create a true, community-wide celebration of the arts in Middle Tennessee,” Susan Edwards commented.

Dale Chihuly exhibitions and programs in Nashville include, in order of occurrence:

• Dale Chihuly Free lecture May 21
Dale Chihuly will deliver a free lecture, open to the public on May 21, 2010, at noon at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center. He will speak against the backdrop of the magnificent set he designed for Bluebeard’s Castle. Though the lecture is free, to accommodate the large crowd that is expected, tickets will be required, and RSVPs are encouraged. Detailed information and RSVP form are available at

• Nashville Symphony Performs Bluebeard’s Castle
May 20–22, 2010, the Nashville Symphony will perform Bartók’s early masterpiece, Bluebeard’s Castle, against a spectacular set created by Dale Chihuly. Six individual 14-foot glass sculptures, which represent castle doors, will be revealed during the course of the performance. The composition recounts the classic fairy tale about a bloodthirsty nobleman and his castle of horrors. As his young bride walks through the doors of the castle, Bartók’s music builds in dramatic intensity, leading to a chilling conclusion. (

• Chihuly at Cheekwood Opens May 25
May 25, 2010, Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art will open Chihuly at Cheekwood, which will include dramatic works on view inside the house and installed amid the spectacular natural landscapes of Cheekwood’s beautiful gardens. The exhibition will also feature a giant garden of glass (Mille Fiori), and a 30-foot neon sculpture, the Saffron Tower, as well as works tucked into groves and floating in the beautiful ponds. Chihuly at Cheekwood will be on view at Cheekwood through Oct. 31, 2010. Chihuly at Cheekwood is a celebration of Cheekwood’s fiftieth Anniversary (

The three institutions are offering reciprocal discounts to members and symphony subscribers.

Members of the Frist Center for the Visual Arts and Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art receive a 20 percent discount on tickets to the Nashville Symphony’s performance of Bluebeard’s Castle May 20, 21 or 22. Tickets must be purchased at the Nashville Symphony box office; Cheekwood and Frist Center members must present membership cards at the time of purchase.

Through June 30, 2010, Frist Center Members, Cheekwood Members and Nashville Symphony subscribers receive $5.00 off regularly-priced admission to the Chihuly exhibitions at Frist Center for the Visual Arts and Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art. Frist Center and Cheekwood members must present membership cards, and Nashville Symphony subscribers must present ticket stubs to receive discounts.

Dale Chihuly
Dale Chihuly was born in Tacoma, Wash., and first blew glass in 1965. His calling was confirmed in 1968, when he traveled to the island of Murano in Venice and absorbed the secrets of traditional glassblowing. As a professor (1969–1980) at the Rhode Island School of Design, and as a co-founder of the Pilchuck Glass School near Stanwood, Wash., Chihuly helped introduce the European studio (team) model of glassblowing to the studio glass movement in the United States. He served as artistic director at Pilchuck until 1989; under his guidance, it became a gathering place for artists from all over the world.

While Chihuly has been a significant innovator of form and color, his greatest contribution to the discipline has been to emphasize the roles the natural forces of heat, gravity and centrifugal force play in the creation of glass.

In his art, Dale Chihuly walks a fine line between conscious intention and chance occurrence. While much of his work is inspired by the natural world, Chihuly seeks to emulate the process of nature, rather than nature, itself.

For more than four decades, Chihuly’s art has explored line, color, form and technique with works ranging from site-specific, indoor and outdoor installations, such as those at the Frist Center and Cheekwood, to single, table-top vessels. The vision, ambition and scale of his pioneering works revolutionized the studio glass movement and helped demolish barriers that had previously prevented glass objects from being viewed as a serious art form.

Exhibition Sponsors
The Presenting Sponsor of Chihuly at the Frist is the HCA Foundation on behalf of HCA and the TriStar Family of Hospitals. The Supporting Sponsor of the exhibition is SunTrust.

This exhibition is supported in part by the Metro Nashville Arts Commission and the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Exhibition Credits
This exhibition is organized by the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in cooperation with Dale Chihuly. The work displayed is protected by copyright and any copying is expressly prohibited.

Related Public Programs

Friday, May 21 Dale Chihuly Lecture
12:00 p.m.
Schermerhorn Symphony Center
FREE, but tickets are required.

Seating is first come, first served, but tickets are required. Tickets to the event are free, but RSVPs are encouraged. Detailed information and RSVP form are available at

Join glass artist Dale Chihuly at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center as he presents a lecture on some of his works.

Chihuly has produced a set of glass sculptures for the Nashville Symphony’s production of Bluebeard’s Castle, which will run from Thursday, May 20, through Saturday, May 22, 2010. Also, as part of a citywide collaboration with the artist, both the Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art and the Frist Center for the Visual Arts will be hosting exhibitions of Chihuly’s work from May 25 through Oct 31, 2010, and from May 9, 2010, through January 2, 2011, respectively. For more information on the lecture please contact the Schermerhorn Symphony Center Box Office at (615) 687-6400.

Friday, May 21 ARTini: Chihuly at the Frist
7:00 p.m.
Meet at the information desk
Free with purchase of gallery admission

Join Stefanie Gerber Darr, educator for public programs at the Frist Center, as she leads an informal conversation about one or two works of art in this exhibition. Complete your evening by relaxing in the Grand Lobby with beverages from the café, live music and visiting with friends.

Tuesday, May 25 ARTini: Chihuly at the Frist
12:00 p.m.
Meet at the information desk
Free with purchase of gallery admission

Take a break from your day and join Stefanie Gerber Darr, educator for public programs at the Frist Center, as she leads an informal conversation about one or two works of art in this exhibition. Complete your visit with stop in the café or gift store.

Saturday, June 5 & Sunday, June 6 Adult Workshop: Glassblowing
Saturday: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Sunday 1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
Frist Center Studios
$150 Frist Center members; $170 nonmembers; cost includes all supplies and gallery admission. Participants may bring their own lunches or purchase them in the Frist Center’s café.

Explore the ancient art of glassblowing in this two-day workshop. Participants will learn the fundamentals of working with hot glass in this fun and challenging workshop. Appropriate glassworking tools and methods will be demonstrated by Ryan Gothrup, an experienced glass artist, and then used by students. Emphasis will be on safety and good work habits.

* Please come prepared to work during the first class session; bring sunglasses and wear a cotton shirt and pants. No shorts, synthetic materials, or sandals allowed. Participants must be AT LEAST 56 inches in height in order to use the equipment necessary to participate in this class. Please keep in mind that this workshop has high heat temperatures and will take place outside.

Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, located at 919 Broadway in downtown Nashville, Tenn., is an art exhibition center dedicated to presenting the finest visual art from local, regional, U.S. and international sources in a program of changing exhibitions. The Frist Center’s Martin ArtQuest Gallery features more than 30 interactive stations relating to Frist Center exhibitions. Gallery admission to the Frist Center is free for visitors 18 and younger and to Frist Center members. Frist Center admission is $10.00 for adults and $7.00 for seniors, military and college students with ID. College students are admitted free Thursday and Friday evenings, 5–9 p.m. Discounts are offered for groups of 10 or more with advance reservation by calling (615) 744-3246. The Frist Center is open seven days a week: Mondays through Wednesdays, and Saturdays, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m.–9 p.m. and Sundays, 1–5:30 p.m., with the Frist Center Café opening at noon. Additional information is available by calling (615) 244-3340 or by visiting our Web site at

Please consider supporting the Frist Art Museum with a donation. Your gift is essential to our mission of serving the community through the arts and art access in particular. We truly appreciate your generosity.