Best Breakables Phoenix 2009 - "Chihuly: The Nature of Glass"
Tourists and locals alike are still ranting and raving about DBG's spectacular exhibition featuring the gigantic glass sculptures of Seattle-based artist Dale Chihuly. Though the exhibit had traveled internationally before it came to the Valley (we had seen it at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis back in May 2006), Chihuly created a number of site-specific installations just for the Desert Botanical Garden. The knockout works competed mightily with a number of pieces installed on the canals of Venice, Italy.
Depending on the time of day or evening, each one of Chihuly's jewel-colored glass tableaux, scattered over the entire acreage of the garden, would take on a different persona. What appeared to be alien desert life forms during the day would turn into entirely different, brilliantly lit creatures at dusk and again after dark. We're just sorry Chihuly's exhibit, which took months to mount, isn't a permanent fixture of DBG, though we're told that the garden may be keeping several pieces permanently.