I was recently fortunate enough to travel to Seattle, WA for a mini vacation and got to visit some awesome museums. The main attraction was the Chihuly Garden and Glass. This gallery is dedicated to the amazing works of American glass artist Dale Chihuly. The gallery was basically three parts: The main gallery, the atrium and the garden. This is a pricey museum to visit, however, if you plan to go to Seattle and also want to take a trip up to the top of the Space Needle, you can get a combo ticket for a discounted price. Score!
The main gallery was amazing. It included exhibits in mostly black walled/floored rooms with strategic lighting to highlight the glossiness and smoothness of all the glass. One room had a glass ceiling with colored glass pieces floating above your head. The best part of this was the colors that were cast on the neutral walls. Think of being under water – but in color! There were examples of Chihuly’s Sea Forms, Fiori, Chandaliers, large vessels and more. Another area of the gallery has a screen with benches where you can watch different videos on various installations and techniques of Chihuly and his team. Each one is only a few minutes and worth the time to take a rest. The day I visited, the atrium was being used for a wedding, so I was unable to check it out. I went back the next day and the wonderful staff let me back in so I could tour the atrium. The rolling, flowing sculpture on the ceiling was amazing. It could be viewed from so many different angles and was surrounded by all natural light in the glass building. In the Garden area of the gallery, the glass forms seemed to “sprout” right out of the ground as if they had naturally grown there. The area is not particularly huge, but I could stroll slowly through the path for a good bit of time just to stare at all the glass. There are some places to sit and just admire. In true Seattle fashion, it was a bit drizzly – but cleared up in a few minutes. This gallery is WORTH A VISIT! EXCELLENT!
This photo was taken on the outside of the atrium area from the garden. I love the way this bright, bursting yellow sculpture seems almost suspended in space with the glass wall as a backdrop. The spirals in this one are thin and very twisted which give it a moving energy.
From the indoor gallery. I love that the boat is placed on a shiny, mirrored black surface to create the illusion of water. Also, the texture of the wood against all the smooth glass creates such a dynamic variation.
This photo was taken inside the atrium. You can see the Space Needle hovering above and the beautiful, warm colors of the glass flowers scrolling across the ceiling.
Another Museum in the same area (easy walking distance) is the EMP Museum. This museum highlights music, sci-fi and pop culture. They offer discounted tickets online AND if you get to the museum later in the day, they let you come back for free the next day. My favorite part of this museum were the exhibits they had for Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix. They also had a great exhibit of various types of guitars used throughout history. This museum is also worth a visit!
Here’s the outside of the EMP Museum. The architect is Frank Gehry. He is one of my favorite architects. The building is so curvy it seems to move. It’s absolutely amazing from all angles. One whole side is red (seen here) and another is purplish. It also looks great looking down from the Space Needle. Gehry has buildings all over and I was so grateful to actually see one in person!
Of course, there are more museums to visit in the Seattle area, but I didn’t have time to see them all. Next time I think I will take the trip over to Tacoma and visit the Pilchuck Glass School since I LOVE all things Chihuly. There are amazing museums and exhibits almost everywhere you go. If possible, when traveling, take a couple hours to absorb some art!