Jellyfish Art

Dale Chihuly at work

Dale Chihuly at work

Two of  my favorite art experiences have involved maverick Dale Chihuly, the brilliant glass blower from Seattle whose madcap stunning art has tipped the scales of creativity. Once in Santa Barbara, I stumbled upon a museum show, a ceiling installation where guests were invited to lie on the floor and soak in the miasma of swirling shapes, vibrant blasts of color and play of light through hand-blown spectacular glass.  Seuss, Wonka, sea anemones, and microscopic organisms immediately came to mind as I lay there in absolute awe of the eye candy.

Next, I had the honor of witnessing his work at the glorious Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, where Chihuly installed endless wild pieces of glass  shaped like tumbleweeds, cattails, chandeliers and Venus flytraps, tucked into the verdant botanical gardens of equatorial tropicals and desert blooms, all presented in the architecturally-significant, steel and glass Victorian greenhouse built in 1893.

Chihuly at Phipps Conservatory

Chihuly at Phipps Conservatory

So when I heard that Chihuly and other renowned glass artists where heading to Chattanooga, for a rather unusual exhibit, I immediately knew that a trip to Tennessee would be in order. The Tennessee Aquarium and Hunter Museum of American Art have joined forces to present “Jellies: Living Art” showcasing the transfixing beauty of jellyfish, alongside breathtaking glass sculptures inspired by nature.

Jellies at Tennessee Aquarium

Jellies at Tennessee Aquarium



Works from Chihuly’s “Macchia” series will be on display at the Aquarium along with other stunning works from artists Stephen Powell, Cork Marcheschi and Thomas Spake. “I believe Aquarium visitors will be surprised and intrigued by the relationship of art and nature found in our exhibit,” says Jackson Andrews, the Aquarium’s director of husbandry and operations.  Macchia means spotted in Italian and the pieces remind Chihuly of sea forms from the deep, a nice partner for the jellyfish, as six species will be on display.

At the nearby Hunter Museum of American Art, Jellies: Living Art will be enhanced and extended by the glass art in the Hunter’s galleries. Among the dazzling array of works will be one of Dale Chihuly’s spectacular chandeliers.  “The Laguna Murano actually fills an entire gallery,” said Rob Kret, director of the Hunter Museum. “There are some 1,400 pieces that make up this chandelier.Visitors will also see a number of Chihuly’s sketches which are not commonly displayed in art museums. They are very expressive, very exuberant and really fun to see.”

Laguna Chandelier

Laguna Murano Chandelier

Both the aquarium and Hunter Museum sit close by along the riverfront and combination tickets are available.

Other shows and incredible work by Chihuly can be found on his website.  Do not miss these innovative exhibits.

Glass art photos courtesy of the Chihuly website.

Jellyfish Photo from the Tennessee Aquarium.

Latest posts by Ann Wycoff


  1. порно онлайн on January 16, 2010 at 2:25 am

    good news!)

  2. хм… интересно интересно

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