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Dale Chihuly has long been considered a master of the art of glass blowing, and now that mastery will be embraced with an exhibit dedicated solely to his art. Many of his collections are already on display around the world. The Morean Arts Center in St. Petersburg, Fla., however, will be the first to dedicate an entire permanent space to Chihuly.
The exhibition space was designed specifically for Chihuly's art by his architect friend, Albert Alfonso. The rooms are intended to aesthetically speak to the glass sculptures. For example, the Niijima Floats-enormous floating glass spheres that echo the Japanese fishing floats that a young Chihuly once found intriguing-are arranged in a wooden boat in their own room. Other themed portals lead off the main chamber of the exhibition. Chihuly's new gallery also includes such classic collections as the basket series (inspired by traditional Native American baskets) and the Mille Fiore, which is a beautiful garden made entirely of glass.
Unlike other artists, Chihuly encourages collaboration and working together over solo creative projects. He lost vision in one eye from a car accident years ago, and he now designs sketches while allowing others to bring his ideas to life with the hot glass. The focus on teamwork does not end there, however; next to the new Chihuly Collection is a glass blowing shop with artists, classes, and seats for observers. For more information, visit http://moreanartscenter.org/chihuly.