The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix is one of the city's top attractions, offering visitors an up-close look at the pristine beauty and color of the desert. This spring, there's another good reason to plan a visit to the garden. The glass sculptures of renowned artist Dale Chihuly will be on display as part of the Dale Chihuly in the Garden exhibition, which is scheduled to run through May 2014.
The new exhibit features 21 installation pieces that were designed specifically for the garden. The pieces were shipped from Chihuly's studio in the Pacific Northwest to Arizona in 53-foot container trucks. It took staff three days to install the pieces, which were purposely placed in unexpected locations throughout the garden.
Dale Chihuly returns to the garden with 21 new pieces — Photo courtesy of Desert Botanical Garden
Chihuly's complex pieces are colorful, whimsical and visually stunning, especially in the context of the garden's diverse collection of desert flora. The glass sculptures are natural sun-catchers ablaze with color and light during the day. But they are also lit to create a dramatic presentation during the garden's evening hours.
Highlights of the show include "Red Reeds," tube-shaped sculptures that seem to grow from a prickly pear cactus. There's also the "Scarlet Asymmetrical Tower and Yellow Asymmetrical Tower," which lights up a path inside the garden.
To see Chihuly's pieces in more than one light, fans recommend visiting the exhibit twice during the run of the show, once during the day and again at sunset.
The previous Chihuly exhibit at the garden was Chihuly: The Nature of Glass in 2008. It attracted sell-out crowds. This time around, the garden is organizing photography classes so visitors can learn the bests ways to capture the sculptures on film.
And if you'd like to mingle with other Chihuly fans, there will also be a series of Saturday night Chihuly After Dark events in March and April. These will feature a live DJ, a cash bar and, of course, Chihuly's works glowing in the desert darkness.
Chihuly in the Garden is free for garden members. Admission for non-members is $22 for adults, $20 for seniors, $12 for students and $10 for children older than three years of age.
Desert Botanical Garden is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Because of high demand for this exhibit, tickets are being sold for specific days and times. In order to prevent overcrowding, entrance is timed in four-hour blocks. The exhibit is open to visitors from 8 a.m. to noon, noon to 4 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Contact Desert Botanical Garden for more information.