What does the life’s work of glass artist Dale Chihuly have in common with Legos? Stick with me for a minute and then two of us will know!
In the battle of me versus my aging computer, the laptop is WINNING! Charlie Sheen style. It’s running hot, saying stupid things, and crashing like an addict after a three day bender. The rainbow hamster wheel of death spins so long, and often, that I’m totally dazed and confused.
It’s been a worthy companion on my journey over the last few years, but it maybe time to put the old girl down. She has in-artfully rearranged my photos without permission, and is trying to burn a hole in my leg as I type. She is moving so slow that I’ve been giving her a rest for the last couple of weeks.
Blog posts that used to take a few hours now take a couple of days. Sadly, my addiction is calling and my dealer has a ready supply of my fix, but my wallet is in rehab. Damn thee, Apple Inc!
After a lot of searching, I finally found photos I took during a year long outdoor exhibition of Dale Chihuly’s work. I learned to appreciate the artistry and dedication it takes to create these pieces.
His process of layering color while blowing glass is fascinating to me. I’m having a hard time being creative with a toasty computer in my lap, so I can’t imagine working next to one of the massive furnaces used to form one of his glass orbs or petals!
The outdoor exhibit has closed, but there is now a permanent home for his work in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Morean Art Center is the lucky host for this comprehensive look into the creative mind of Dale Chihuly. If your thinking the kids might be bored, think again. My favorite then-two-year-old begged for repeat visits to a local showing and at almost four, he still has not forgotten which pieces are his favorites!
The Tampa/St. Pete area is the perfect place for a winter family escape. The wide, white sand beaches are so beautiful, and there are tons of attractions within driving distance of either city, making for a great teaching vacation. It’s a short hop south to Sarasota for a visit to the Ringling Museum of Art and it’s decadent 36,000 square foot, 41 room mansion, Ca’ d’Zan, or north to Winter Haven for a day of fun at newly opened Legoland.
In the last few years, I’ve spent countless hours helping to construct all kinds things of out of Lego’s. My design background comes in handy when the little guy needs a foundation for his elaborate skyscrapers, airports or fire houses. It takes a lot of patience, and isn’t always as simple as it looks.
I’ve learned that Chihuly’s works are put together in much the same way, one piece at a time, each interlocking with the next. For instance, the spectacular chandelier below isn’t one piece.
It is made up of hundreds of intricate, numbered pieces of glass and, much like our favorite Lego creations, it is painstakingly reassembled every time it is moved.
Isn’t it extraordinary? Find a way to relate art to play and watch the interests of both adults and children expand. I plan to hit the Morean during my next visit to the area, and — having sworn off theme parks, I never thought I would say this — I look forward to going to Legoland with my little guy.
Seeing life through the eyes of a child helps to keep you young at heart! What makes you feel like a young artist again?