Glass art of Dale Chihuly returns to Desert Botanical Garden for stunning exhibit

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- The gorgeous glass sculptures of renowned artist Dale Chihuly once again grace the trails of Desert Botanical Garden.

"Chihuly is credited with revolutionizing the Studio Glass movement and elevating the perception of the glass medium from craft to fine art," according to the Desert Botanical Garden's event page.

"The Garden itself is a great backdrop for him to present some of these monumental works …," Britt Cornett of Chihuly Studio explained.

This is not the first time The Desert Botanical Garden has hosted Chihuly's art. "Chihuly: The Nature of Glass" exhibition was at the Garden Nov. 2008-May 2009. It was a huge hit.

"Anticipation is so high around the Garden as we wait to see what magic Dale Chihuly will bring this time," said Ken Schutz, the Dr. William Huizingh executive director. "Last time we were amazed by the textures, colors and patterns of the art and how it seemed to exist side-by-side with the living plant collection. We had a tremendous community response with record attendance and the feedback from our guests was unanimous, 'We want more!'"

This new exhibit features different pieces of art "in unexpected locations throughout the Garden." The 21 installation were designed specifically for the DBG exhibition.

"I am pleased to be returning to Desert Botanical Garden with an opportunity to present my work in a new and different way," Chihuly said in a news release announcing the exhibit.

The glass pieces were shipped from the Northwest to Arizona in six 53-foot container trucks.

"Believe it or not, all of the glass is shipped in cardboard boxes," Cornett said.

As stunning as the displays are during the day, they are specially lit to create an especially dramatic presentation.

Those who saw the first Chihuly exhibit suggest people go to the Garden twice -- once during the day and again after sunset.

Chihuly in the Garden runs Nov. 10-May 18. The Garden is open daily 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

The exhibit is free for Garden members, but reservations are strongly recommended. Tickets for non-members are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors, $12 for students, and $10 for children older than 3. They are purchased for specific days.

Entrance into the exhibit is timed in four-hour blocks to prevent overcrowding. You can go 8 a.m.-noon, noon-4 p.m., or 4 p.m.-8 p.m.

Because tickets for special exhibits like this sell out quickly, DBG recommends that you buy your tickets online ahead of time rather than waiting and buying them at the entrance. Members who don't need to buy tickets should make reservations to guarantee entrance.

In March and April, there are will be series of Saturday night "Chihuly After Dark" events features a live DJ and a cash bar.

For more information about Chihuly in the Garden, check out