Show mixing glass, plants is coming to Columbus

When Dale Chihuly mixes glass art with plant life, he gets much more than a pretty vase filled with flowers. He gets a blockbuster exhibit featuring intricate and otherworldly works of art set among the plants and ponds of the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Garden in Columbus.

The exhibit, "Chihuly at the Conservatory," which set attendance records in Chicago last year, opens Saturday.

"It's different. It's unexpected," said Franklin Park executive director Paul Redman, trying to explain the allure. "His artwork looks like it belongs in the garden."

The Ohio exhibit will not be identical to what visitors saw at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago; many of the pieces are being created just for Columbus. The exhibit will feature 30 installations - showcasing thousands of pieces - throughout the conservatory's 70,000 square feet.

Chihuly is perhaps the world's best-known glass artist. His works include the large-scale exhibitions "Chihuly Over Venice," a project that suspended chandeliers over the canals and plazas of Venice, and "Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem 2000," an installation at the Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem. His work is also on display at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and Atlantis resort in the Bahamas.

Lovers of glass art will find another reason to travel to Columbus. A companion exhibit to the Chihuly show opens Sunday at the Columbus Museum of Art.

600450 Show mixing glass, plants is coming to Columbus

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