This August, we opened the exhibition CHIHULY, our second large scale exhibition in Stockbridge. With a background in interior design and architecture, Chihuly has always been interested in light, space and form. Working within the architecture of the gallery, he and his team have designed a site-specific exhibition to present several of his well-known series along with large-scale installations.
A warm and appreciative welcome to Leslie Jackson Chihuly for her presence and talk at the gallery.
The community gathered in the gallery to welcome Chihuly Studio CEO and President Leslie Jackson Chihuly who spoke about the work, and the artist. Leslie was warmly welcomed and made all feel relaxed and answered many questions about the work. Leslie shared insights into the creative life of the artist – his passion for the art, the excitement of creating a new series, such as the Rotolo, and the insecurities that can follow when presenting new work. Sometimes, a new work may take years for the public to understand. We were pleased to find a collector who loved and acquired the Rotolo 88, an artwork in our exhibition!
We are grateful to Dale Chihuly for the work he has created for five decades. A leader in the studio glass movement, his energy and vision have helped redefine the medium of glass. Through his exploration and constant commitment, he has helped bring the medium into the realm of contemporary art.
Chihuly’s success as an artist has grown out of his sense of community, collaboration, and communication. This began with the European glassblowers he met in 1968 as a Fulbright Fellow, whose team approach formed a great sense of community. Chihuly applied this understanding to teaching at RISD, to his own glassblowing teams, and to the founding of the Pilchuck Glass School in 1971. This spirit of community has spawned generations of artists and the growth of the glass movement in Seattle and beyond. While building this community, Chihuly has pushed the boundaries of glass as a sculptural medium. As a teacher, Chihuly shared his passion and technique with students, guiding them through the process of making art and challenging them to experiment. These qualities of experimentation and sharing have become a hallmark of the glass community.
Chihuly has contributed a great deal to the development of the Puget Sound region’s glass scene. His efforts with the Museum of Glass in Tacoma have helped to spark an artistic and economic revival in his hometown. In 1994, Chihuly and long-time colleagues Kathy Kaperick and Charlie Parriott founded Hilltop Artists, a glass program in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood.
They converted a former industrial arts classroom at a local middle school into a glassblowing studio. By providing glass art instruction, the Hilltop program reaches out to young people at risk of dropping out of school, instilling in them the importance of individual responsibility and teamwork—skills and attitudes that help improve their lives.
Pilchuck Glass School, which Chihuly founded with John and Ann Gould Hauberg, began as a summer glassblowing workshop and has grown into an international program. This was fostered by Chihuly’s belief that working as a community and team encourages mutual respect. Each year, Dale Chihuly and his glassblowing team conduct a special glassblowing session at the school to help support its programs. Keeping with this tradition, in 2017 and 2018, the team created a special series of 40th Anniversary Baskets including Garnet Flame Baskets.
Today, along with Leslie Jackson Chihuly—his partner and the President/CEO of Chihuly Studio—Dale Chihuly continues his commitment to community through creative programs supported by Chihuly Studio. Additionally, The Dale and Leslie Chihuly Foundation was founded in 2009 with the mission to inspire and educate the public regarding all forms of art, and to provide support to artists and arts organizations.
We are very proud to represent Dale Chihuly and to present this feature exhibition of his work at our gallery this summer. This exhibition is a testament to the legacy he has created through the love of his work and community.
Thank you, Dale and Leslie.
Jim Schantz and Kim Saul with Leslie Jackson Chihuly at Schantz Galleries, 2019