In addition, the Fiori walls are the latest expressions of the artist’s life-long fascination with flowers and gardens, which developed from his mother’s passion for gardening. This series first appeared as Mille Fiori (Italian for “a thousand flowers”) at the Tacoma Art Museum in 2003, and with these forms, Chihuly has created spectacular installations that are true gardens of glass. The Fiori artworks featured in the exhibition will include Emerald Green Fiori and Golden Quartz Fiori. Ten drawings will also be presented throughout the gallery, each illustrating the artist’s ideas for the various forms, as Chihuly explains, “You can more directly sense my energy in my drawings than in any other way, perhaps. And from the very beginning, the drawings were done, as my glass is done, very quickly, very fast.”
Born in Tacoma, Washington, in 1941, Dale Chihuly first studied at the University of Washington, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1965. The following year, Chihuly received a full scholarship to the University of Wisconsin, where he studied with Harvey Littleton, who had established the first glass program in the country. In 1967, Chihuly received his Master of Science degree in sculpture, after which he enrolled at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree. Chihuly was then awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to travel to Venice to learn more about the team approach to blowing glass at the Venini factory on Murano. After returning to the states, Chihuly taught for more than a decade at RISD and co-founded the Pilchuck Glass School new Stanwood, Washington in 1971.