Review: Chihuly Exhibit at the Dallas Arboretum
About a month ago (when you could still be outside for more than 2 minutes without breaking a sweat), Dan and I enjoyed a lovely evening at the Dallas Arboretum, strolling the immaculate gardens and admiring the spectacular sculptural glass works by famed artist Dale Chihuly. If you’re in the Dallas area and you’ve never been to the Arboretum or seen any of Chihuly’s work, we highly recommend you attend the exhibit, which runs from now until November 5. But you probably want to wait until temperatures cool down in September-ish. Even though the exhibit is open in the evenings from 6:00 to 10:00 Tuesday through Thursday, temps don’t come down much during that time (it is 105 degrees as I type this at 5:20 p.m.) The Arboretum opens at 9:00 a.m., so you might try going first thing in the morning, although we took Dan’s mom there last Saturday morning and it was still pretty steamy. Weather aside, the exhibit is breathtaking (sometimes literally, as in trying to catch your breath in the heat), and absolutely worth a visit. And here’s a link to more information about the artist if you’re interested.
We originally thought the blue things were plants, but they are Chihuly pieces (“Blue Icicles.”) That’s one of the most awesome aspects of the exhibit — the way the art is so well-integrated with the existing greenery and flora of the gardens. Almost as if it has always been there.
The “Mexican Hat and Horn Tower” greets you as you enter the gardens.
Even without the Chihuly works of art, the gardens themselves are something to see, with 66 acres of gorgeous plants and flowers that change with the seasons. The Arboretum also has kid- friendly areas and activities (although not sooo many that it becomes tooo kid-centric) and offers weekly outdoor concerts.
There are pathways throughout the gardens with unobtrusive benches and places to sit and look at the lake or catch a sunset. Lots of locations that would be perfect for a little wine and cheese picnic. (If you don’t want to bring your own, there are other food options at the Arboretum as well, including a couple of cafes and the more upscale Restaurant DeGolyer.) Now, bring on the Art!
The “Yellow Icicle Tower” is something to behold. It’s taller than a lot of the trees in the gardens (photo includes tiny tourista people taking photos to show perspective of how big it is, plus there were a lot of people there that night — nearly impossible to get a shot without any people in it.)
The “Blue Marlins and Turquoise Reeds” was one of our favorite installations. They looked like some sort of super cool cousin of the flamingo, resting on spindly legs in the shady pond.
Even more awesome when the misters came on and provided an ethereal effect.
The “Mirrored Hornets” look other-worldly. (Or maybe we too recently watched the movie Prometheus.)
The “Neodymium Reeds” furthered the alien theme.
They found the perfect spot to place the “Float Boat” and “Carnival Boat,” in a small pool of water with an infinity effect over the lake — mesmerizing.
Also gorgeous at dusk.
The perfectly, elegantly delicate “Persian Pond” was another favorite.
The “Citron Green and Red Tower” is impossibly tall.
All of the sculptures have exquisite detail when you look at them up close. Crazy amazing what Chihuly and his teams can create, just by heating glass. With exceptional skill and vastly superior artistic vision.
Whoa. We crossed a little footbridge and came upon “The Sun.” As with the setting of the actual sun, dusk is possibly the most perfect time of day to view this masterpiece.
But it’s also pretty darn impressive rising in the morning.
Finally, the “Dallas Star” — perhaps a shout-out to the Dallas Stars hockey team, in the colors of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team? Well done, Dale Chihuly and the Dallas Arboretum, well done.
There is much more Chihuly art and botanical garden beauty to see that is not shown here. Go check it out. Bring sunscreen, water and maybe one of those little handheld fans. Or wait until September or October. Just go.