The modestly sized Denver Botanic Gardens makes good use of its 24 acres. Over the last several years, the gardens have hosted a variety of excellent sculptural exhibits. In 2007, for example, 60 stone sculptures by contemporary Zimbabwean artists were exhibited. In 2010, twenty monumental works by Henry Moore were exhibited. Concluding this month, massive groupings of blown glass grace the gardens.
These are the work of veteran glassblower, Dale Chihuly (born 1941). After leaving the first American glass program at the University of Wisconsin, Chihuly worked at the Venini glass factory in Venice. His work is now shown in over 200 museum collections internationally.
Chihuly’s installations blend well into the Denver Botanic Gardens. Tall red glass fronds stand against tall grass. Ponds are filled with glass flora and boats laden with glass spheres and tubes. Bulbous glass vegetation grows a midst desert loving yucca bushes. After sunset, night blooming tubers and trees light the gardens.