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COLUMBUS, Ohio —  Represented by thousands of individually blown elements, Franklin Park Conservatory’s signature collection of renowned Dale Chihuly artworks will be showcased -- along with new work -- in an exhibition titled, Chihuly Reimagined.

 

After the successful and popular exhibition Chihuly at the Conservatory in 2003 and 2004, a group of local donors, acquired most of the glass artworks in the exhibition for the Conservatory. With this gift, Franklin Park Conservatory became the only botanical garden and one of few cultural institutions in the world to permanently house a signature collection of Dale Chihuly’s work.

 

“Chihuly Reimagined, presented by The Davis Foundation, puts this significant collection fully on view once again,” said Executive Director Bruce A. Harkey “along with exciting new installations, indoors and out of doors, and never before seen in Columbus.”  While a few installations will be familiar to visitors who experienced Chihuly at the Conservatory in 2003 and 2004, most are being presented in new locations or in different configurations. “The juxtaposition of the color and form of the artwork, in tandem with plant species from around the world, allows both to be seen in new ways,” Harkey said.  Chihuly Reimagined will be on view through March 28, 2010.

 The Conservatory’s natural light and botanical collections provide the perfect backdrop for Chihuly’s colorful, dynamic glass creations. Visitors are encouraged to view Chihuly’s pieces under natural daylight and again in the evening, as the experience takes on a completely different feel. The same will be true as the seasons change and the interior landscape of the Conservatory transforms to include seasonal plants along with concurrent exhibitions Holidays at the Conservatory; The Orchid Forest in January and February, 2010; and Blooms & Butterflies in March of 2010.

 Related events and activities during Chihuly Reimagined include: Family Fun Saturdays, held at 11 a.m. on the second Saturday of each month offer activities and crafts inspired by the artist Dale Chihuly’s work. Monthly art talks in the Chihuly Resource Center on the art and life of Dale Chihuly. School field trip programs and adult group tours. Fine Art classes in watercolor, photography, and glass tile mosaic. Botanica, the Conservatory gift shop and greenhouse, offers Chihuly Limited Studio Edition glass pieces, note card sets, books, calendars, and other gifts for the home.

  Opening on Aug. 15, and housed in a new outdoor glassblowing pavilion, a working Hot Shop will feature daily demonstrations by local, professional gaffers —  master glass blowers — as they gather molten glass and transform it into a finished piece of blow glass artwork. Every step of the process will be described in lively and informative 25-minute sessions, giving visitors an up-close look at the process behind hand blown glass.

 Weekly “no-experience-necessary” workshops will be offered at the Hot Shop on Thursday evenings beginning on Aug. 20. A ten-week introductory glassblowing class is also available.

 Glass pieces produced in the Franklin Park Conservatory Hot Shop will be available for sale at Botanica, and the Hot Shop will be available for special event rental. Demonstrations begin every half hour

The Hot Shop experience is included in the Conservatory’s general admission price.

 Chihuly Reimagined is presented by the William H. Davis, Dorothy M. Davis and William C. Davis Foundation. Lead support comes from James J. Conn, J.D. & Virginia Starbuck Conn, Paul & Ruth Fetzer, and Charlotte R. Haller funds of The Columbus Foundation and WBNS-10TV.  Major support is provided by The Columbus, A Renaissance Hotel, The Columbus Dispatch, Honda of America Mfg., Inc., Dawson R. Kellogg of O.M.G. Glass, LLC, Ohio Arts Council, Wolfe Associates, Inc., and Greater Columbus Arts Council. Additional support: Annie’s Fund for the Creative Arts, Puffin Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, and Pricewaterhouse Coopers, LLP.

Chihuly Reimagined is an anchor for a Columbus-wide celebration, Chihuly in Columbus, which includes an exhibition at the Columbus Museum of Art, Chihuly Illuminated, opening Sept. 25, and on view through July 4, 2010.

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