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“Chihuly” record-breaking blockbuster glass art at Denver Botanic Gardens

Dale Chihuly returned to Denver Botanic Gardens to add more installations to his popular exhibit.
Dale Chihuly returned to Denver Botanic Gardens to add more installations to his popular exhibit.
Photo courtesy Denver Botanic Gardens

“Chihuly” at Denver Botanic Gardens is a record-breaking blockbuster—if those are not unfortunate words to use when referring to glass art. Dale Chihuly and his team of Seattle-based artists returned to Denver to add more glass sculpture to the popular exhibition--the first major show of the glass artist's work in the region.

"The Chihuly Studio is back at Denver Botanic Gardens this week, adding some more work,” according to Erin Bird, communications manager for Denver Botanic Gardens. “Dale loved the show when he was here in June, and wanted to add more installations. New work is being added to the Perennial Walk and Ellipse and will be complete Thursday.”

“Chihuly” is drawing crowds of all ages. Bird said, “The exhibition has been open for one month and we have welcomed over 130,000 visitors. The Gardens is experiencing record attendance.”

Bird said the exhibition has seen a steady flow of people eager to experience the internationally-famous glass art. “The Gardens are busy all day, but it seems that around 4 to 6 p.m., attendance is a bit reduced.”

Parking at “Chihuly”

Parking at and around Denver Botanic Gardens is at a premium, so visitors might want to plan to extra time to find a space. “Parking can definitely be challenge. If the Gardens’ three-level parking structure is full, visitors may park on neighboring streets and in Cheesman Park,” Bird said. She added a warning to avoid parking tickets: “Remember to look at street signs. There are parking restrictions for some areas.”
Bird said the colorful and playful glass art appeals to all ages. “Adults are captivated by the artwork’s compliment to the natural surroundings, and kids are drop-jawed when they come around the corner and see giant Blue Icicle Towers,” she said. “I have heard joyous shouts of ‘Frozen’ many times from young fans of the [animated] film who see the resemblance of the Chihuly ice-like creations. The artwork is very accessible and can connect with all levels of art knowledge and provides a great opportunity for families to talk about art and nature.”
“Chihuly” has lured guests from near and far to the art show. Bird said, “We have seen a tremendous increase in out-of- town visitors. People are traveling from all corners of the state and neighboring states. We also have noticed an increase in international visitors.”

Tips for a visit to “Chihuly”

Guests typically spend about an hour touring the exhibition, Bird said. “It varies depending on crowds and if people take many photographs. Most of the installations — 12 out of the 14 — are outside so bring water, hat and sunscreen.”
To augment the exhibit, the Denver Botanic Gardens’ gift shop stocks plenty of souveniers, as well as fine art by Chihuly.
“The Shop at the Gardens is open during public. We have a special selection of Chihuly-related merchandise including posters, books, mugs and magnets,” said Bird. “We also have a gallery of original studio editions glass artworks and Chihuly prints for sale.”
And be sure to watch the documentary film about Chihuly, looping in a gallery inside the main building, near the information desk at Denver Botanic Gardens. “Chihuly” runs through November 30, 2014, at Denver Botanic Gardens.

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