The Denver Botanic Gardens’ 2014 exhibition of works from glass-meister Dale Chihuly’s Seattle studio was a blockbuster success with enormous day-time crowds and sold-out evenings. Now, a grand Chihuly work fittingly called “Colorado” has a forever home in the Gardens and is on view in the Ellipse garden. “We” have it, through the generosity of private donors including Robert and Judi Newman, John and Ginny Freyer and the RC Kemper Charitable Trust, UMB Bank, n.a., Trustee.
This stellar 14-foot-tall piece made with 1,017 hand-blown glass elements. Viewing of “Colorado” is, of course, included in Gardens’ admission. Chihuly used a red, orange and yellow color palette as it reminded him of the beautiful skies and sunsets he enjoyed during Denver visits. He further drew inspiration for the new work from one of his most challenging outdoor installations, “Icicle Creek Chandelier,” a permanent outdoor piece that he did in 1996 at Sleeping Lady Resort in Leavenworth, Washington. Installed on a granite rock, the chandelier is a permanent reminder of how a work of art can be framed in nature and find harmony within it. Like the Leavenworth piece, “Colorado” is designed to survive similar outdoor weather conditions.