September 18, 2012: Summer's End at Downhill Run Acres
August 4-15, 2012: Housesitting in San Antonio
Return to the Index for 2012


August 31, 2012
Guy Blair Visits Dallas


 

On August 15th, Fred and I saw Guy off to Europe with Ron, Prudence, Karl and Nancy, and yesterday they have returned. Guy had originally flown from South Dakota to San Antonio, only to ride up to Dallas with us and fly to Europe from here. There was no particular reason why Guy needed to drive back to San Antonio with the Ruckmans, only to turn around and fly back to South Dakota; he would have to connect through here in any case. So when they all arrived back home, Guy just came to stay with us for three days before flying home.

Other than just hang out and hear about his trip, the one event we planned was to take Guy to the Dallas Arboretum to see the Chihuly exhibits- the same exhibits that we'd taken Rudolf to see a couple of months ago.

 

Getting to the Dallas Arboretum


The Dallas Arboretum is not too far from where I live over on Inwood- I'd guess about six or seven miles as the crow flies (see the map opposite)- but you can't get there as the crow flies because White Rock Lake is in the way. So you can either go through town and wind your way around the south end of the lake or you can take Mockingbird over around the north side of the lake. Today, we just took Mockingbird over to Buckner Boulevard to Garland Road and the Arboretum.



In this closer view, you can see the south end of White Rock Lake and you can pick out the bike trail that hugs the lake shore almost all the way around. At the south end is White Rock Lake Dam and spillway, which takes the overflow water and sends it under Garland Road to continue on down to the Trinity River.

The bike path used to cross the top of the dam, but for one reason or another, the bike path was rerouted a year ago, and now it goes through some parkland and playing fields south of the dam, across the spillway, up Garland Road for a ways, and then back north along the lake shore.

You can also see a closer view of the Arboretum in this picture, and can begin to pick out some of the pathways through the gardens.



Finally, in this close-up of the Arboretum itself, you can see most of the major features- including the parking area just off Garland Road, the new administrative buildings, the restaurant and gift shop (all right near the parking lot) and, off in the middle of the gardens, the DeGolyer house (the former residence of the family that donated the land for the Arboretum to the Arboretum Society.

You can also see the maze of pathways that criss-cross the gardens.

Although we usually make a circular transit of the entire Arboretum each time we visit, our primary purpose today is to make sure that we see all of the Chihuly glass installations- and there are quite a few of them. I know that is probably not important for you to know where in the gardens each of the Chihuly installations is located, I always think it is interesting to let you follow along with us on a map or diagram. Below is a large diagram of the Dallas Arboretum, with our general route marked in yellow and the major gardens noted in red.

I'll divide up today's pictures by garden, and with each group you'll find a little inset map with our current location marked and the Chihuly installation(s) we found there also marked. Some of the installations, such as "Garden Grass," have multiple iterations and can be found in multiple locations. I will try to mark as many of them as I can. So let's head off from the parking area into the Arboretum to have a look at both the glass installations and the gardens themselves.

When we were here with Rudolf a month ago, we saw (and photographed) every Chihuly piece in the Gardens. Today, we missed a couple, so if you haven't already visited the exhibit with us via this photo album, and want the complete picture of it, you might want to return to the index and use the page for July 22nd to see everything.

 

Cissy Thomsen Welcoming Water Wall

We came across the first installation even before we had entered the Arboretum.

 
Installation Name: Blue Icicles


Beside the stairway down to the entrance from the parking area, there is a small waterfall, although I never knew it had a name. That was where we found the first installation, as shown on the diagram below:


In 1996, Chihuly developed an element for his Icicle Creek Chandelier that he hoped could withstand the snowy winters and hot summers of Central Washington state. The resulting icicle form, both beautiful and sturdy, has become a favorite of the artist in a number of outdoor installations since then. One icicle part in your hand is remarkably heavy. Wherever they are placed outdoors, and no matter what the color, the add a startling visual punch. Here at the Arboretum, the clear, turquoise and cobalt icicles reflect the Texas sunlight in dramatic fashion. Here is a second view of Fred and Guy at the installation.

 

Ginsburg Plaza

We crossed the driveway, went through the Member's entrance and came into the Arboretum proper.

 
Installation Name: Mexican Hat and Horn Tower


The entry point here at the Arboretum is the Ginsburg Plaza, which is situated between the restaurant, gift shop and educational center.


Mexico was one of the countries where Chihuly blew glass during the Chihuly Over Venice project and the red forms in the Mexican Hat and Horn Tower were devised there. Often, he and the team will invent a new shape for the Chandeliers or Towers and the new parts will take on a nickname- in this case, "Mexican Hats." In addition to the picture above, left, I got a good one of Fred and Guy at the installation.

 

The Palmer Fern Dell

Following our usual, generally circular route through the gardens, we went around the west side of Ginsburg Plaza, down some steps and arrived at the west end of the fern dell.


The Eugenia Leftwich Palmer Fern Dell, designed by Naud Burnett, is an enchanting mini-garden located within the Jonsson Color Garden. More than 90 varieties of ferns, camellias, witch hazel, azaleas and mature trees border a meandering brook. The Palmer Fern Dell is a welcome oasis during the summer months as a micro-fine mist system regularly envelops the garden.

Here, we found the first of many installations of a genre that Chihuly calls, simply, "Garden Glass." These were tall, slender grass-like shapes, sometimes straight and sometimes with curliques at the top. The color seemed to complement the place in the garden where they were located. Usually, they had different names.

 
Installation Name: Blue Marlins and Turquoise Reeds


"Blue Marlins"

Garden Glass reflects the artist's affinity for plant-like forms. "There's something about the fluidity of glass that makes it want to make forms from nature", Chihuly said. "My forms are made in a very natural way, using fire, gravity, and centrifugal force, so they look like they come from nature. But I don't look at pictures of plants and say now I'm going to make one that looks like that."

In addition to the Blue Marlins seen at right, the fern dell also contained three sets of the Turquoise Reeds. Chihuly made the first Reeds at the Hackman factory in Nuutajarvi, a small glassblowing town in Finland. Unlike other factories, the Hackman facility has very high ceilings, which inspired Chihuly to make these elongated forms. To create the long tubular shape of a Reed, one glassblower must be elevated in a mechanical lift while blowing through the pipe to encourage the form to stretch, while another pulls the glass toward the ground. As Chihuly said, "In Finland we started making these long, cylindrical pieces which loojked like spears. This was an exciting new form. It was the first time we ever made anything like that. They can be taken anywhere; they can go outside. They are very strong pieces, and they are very dramatic."

Both the different installations were very pretty, and their deep blue color suited the deep shade of the fern dell.

 

The Jonsson Color Garden

The next installations were in the large Jonsson Color Garden north of the Fern Dell.


The Jonsson Color Garden is a broad, lawn in three ovals, and each oval is surrounded by interlocking walkways. The are shaped flower beds at various locations along the outside of the ovals; these are always planted with colorful flowers of the season, and on the north side of the garden are a wide variety of azaleas. The center of the lawns is pretty much open, and is a great place for picnics or for families with kids.

Here, we found a number of different Chihuly glass installations.

 
Installation Name: Yellow Icicle Tower

The Yellow Icicle Tower shoots up 30 feet and is a perfect example of Chihuly's desire to mass color for dramatic effect. The combined elements create what Chihuly once described as "a core of color." Among the things for which Chihuly is most known are his monumental blown glass sculptures like this one. You can see it in the background behind Guy and myself.

 
Installation Name: Yellow Reeds


"Yellow Reeds"

Chihuly made the first Reeds at the Hackman factory in Nuutajarvi, a small glassblowing town in Finland. Unlike other factories, the Hackman facility has very high ceilings, which inspired Chihuly to make these elongated forms. To create the long tubular shape of a Reed, one glassblower must be elevated in a mechanical lift while blowing through the pipe to encourage the form to stretch, while another pulls the glass toward the ground. As Chihuly said, "In Finland we started making these long, cylindrical pieces which loojked like spears. This was an exciting new form. It was the first time we ever made anything like that. They can be taken anywhere; they can go outside. They are very strong pieces, and they are very dramatic."

 
Installation Name: Tiger Lillies


"Tiger Lillies"

Chihuly's Tiger Lillies are another of his plant-like forms. You've seen a number of them already. While they are quite similar, the artist has taken pains to add touches that will recall the particular type of plant being created. In this installation, the curved top to the blown glass recalls the flowerhead of the lily.

 
Installation Name: Niijima Floats


"Niijima Floats"

These large spheres- up to 40 inches in diameter and 60 pounds- have surfaces richly colored with gold and silver leaf and foil. They are named for Japanese fishing floats Chihuly found as a child on the shores of Puget Sound and the island of Niijima, Japan, which Chihuly visited around 1990. Again, Chihuly has colored them to blend in with the color scheme where they have been placed.

 

A Woman's Garden

The next few installations were in a relatively new area of the Arboretum- the large Woman's Garden that has been created in the area between the DeGolyer House and White Rock Lake.


This 1.8-acre formal garden, which opened to national acclaim in 1997, was a gift to the Arboretum by its Women's Council. Designed by landscape architect Morgan Wheelock, it is comprised of several small garden "rooms". The dramatic focal point is a reflecting pool that provides a water-on-water view overlooking tranquil White Rock Lake.

The main entrance to the garden is through the portal at the northeast end of the Jonsson Color Garden; this brings the visitor to the top of a stairstepped water feature that leads down into the garden. Small channels of water surround the plain grass center of the area. Steps lead up from this garden to the DeGolyer House.

Going through the portal, we find ourselves at the upper fountain at the beginning of the stairstepped water feature leading downwards.

 
Installation Name: Neodymium Reeds


"Neodymium Reeds"

As soon as we entered the Woman's Garden we walked down the steps to the base of the stairstepped fountain, and it was there that we found the Neodymium Reeds, along with another, greenish glass piece. That's where Fred stopped to take a picture of Guy and I at the installation.

Chihuly made the first Reeds in Finland, and these are the same tall, thin sculptures that we would find throughout the garden, in different colors to complement their location. These long, cylindrical pieces look like spears stuck in the ground, and Chihuly is fond of using them in outdoor installations both for their durability and their dramatic effect. These reeds have another, different sculpture at their base (a piece that was unnamed).

 
Installation Name: Aqua Blue and Amber Chandelier


"Aqua Blue and Amber Chandelier"

The Aqua Blue and Amber Chandelier is actually located in The Poetry Garden, which is a small sunken garden between the Woman's Garden and White Rock Lake. We always consider it a part of the Woman's Garden, because all you have to do is turn to your left from where the Neodymium Reeds installation was located, walk over to the balcony, and look down into it. But technically, it is a separate Garden. Chiluly has been creating his Chandeliers for many years; originally, they were actually hung from ceilings- just like actual chandeliers. But he had often wanted to use them elsewhere, and so during his 1995-96 Chihuly Over Venice project the artist devised an armature he titled a "quadpod" to support and display some of the Chandeliers from the ground, when hanging them in various historic areas was not posible. As you can see, this technique also works outdoors.

 
Installation Name: Mirrored Hornets


"Mirrored Hornets"

The Woman's Garden has its stairstepped water feature at the western end; going east through the garden there is next a walkway that leads across the garden north to south that leads from the steps down from the DeGolyer home and across to the balcony overlooking the Poetry Garden. Next, there is a rectangular pool, and it was this pool that was the site of the installation of the Mirrored Hornets. Beyond that is a long, rectangular flat lawn bounded by a one-foot-wide moat, followed by another cross-garden walkway and then, finally, the infinity pool we will get to in a moment.

For the Mirrored Hornets, molten glass is blown into a spiral mold to make the Hornet form. The glassblower must literally unscrew the hot glass to remove the form from the mold.

There's one more picture that I'd like you to see. Fred took it from the eastern end of the rectangular lawn, and it looks back west and includes the Mirrored Hornets, the Neodymium Reeds, the stairstep water feature and, beyond that, the entrance to the Woman's Garden and a pair of glass sculptures called Asymmetrical Towers. You can see that view here.

 
Installation Names: Float Boat and Carnival Boat

The next two installations were both in the infinity pool at the east end of the Woman's Garden, and they were both strikingly beautiful.


"Float Boat" and "Carnival Boat"

Chihuly first filled boats with his glass elements in Nuutajarvi, Finland during the Chihuly Over Venice project in June 1995. After several days of glass blowing in the hotshop, the team made temporary installations along the Nuutakoki, the river nearby. For the Carnival Boat, Chihuly filled a boat with the same parts that are used in his Chandelier series. For the Float Boat, he simply filled a boat with the same sculptures that he floated in water or simply laid in gardens (like the Niijima Floats that you saw in the Jonsson Color Garden). We saw these same floats in St. Louis in the central pool of the Botanical Garden there. Chihuly made most of these parts and floats (and many other glass forms) during the Finland trip.

As I said, these installations, and the individual floats around them, were quite beautiful; the combination of the colorful sculptures and the blue water of the infinity pool plus the backdrop of White Rock Lake made for an entrancing scene. So I want to include a few more of the pictures that we took of these installations, and I have provided clickable thumbnails for them below:


 

The Grotto


The Grotto is a small, shaded garden with a water feature; it is located at the foot of the Red Maple Rill, between the Rill and White Rock Lake. It is a secluded garden, with a number of benches beside the water feature, and is a great place to sit and relax.

 
Installation Name: Persian Pond


"Persian Pond" in the Grotto

The next installation we came to was in the pool that is part of the rock-lined water feature in The Grotto.

Chihuly began his Persians series in 1986 as a search for new forms, always for Chihuly being a vehicle for color. Early works in the series were oddly shaped and intensely colored but were soon transformed. As Chihuly continued to expand and modify his Persians, he began to see their potential for large, dramatic installations.

 

The Red Maple Rill

The Nancy Rutchik Red Maple Rill is one of the Arboretum's newest gardens.


The Red Maple Rill, which opened on October 6, 2011, has a much different beauty than the areas where colorful plants are found. With its gentle slope and shaded artificial stream, it's almost as if you aren't in Dallas anymore, but in the mountains somewhere. The main design elements include a new entry off the Paseo de Flores, plus a large gathering plaza. A meandering creek with numerous waterfalls flows down the hillside, ending in a large pond. About halfway down the hill a stone bridge crosses the stream, connecting the paved walkways around the Rill with the Martin Rutchik Concert Lawn and the Magnolia Allee. At the crossing there is a small plaza, which is a great place to sit and enjoy the beauty of the Rill.

“The most impressive feature is a fabulous collection of over 80 varieties of 200 Japanese Maples,” commented Dave Forehand, Vice President of Gardens. “Two hundred trees are planted up and down the stream with an understory planting beneath the canopy. An especially large weeping Japanese maple nearly 100 years in age anchors the center of this new garden area.”

The Red Maple Rill increases the Dallas Arboretum’s collection of Acer species and cultivars to over 120 varieties. Not only is this garden a beautiful serene oasis along the Paseo, but is also a horticulturally important garden with an impressive collection of Maple species and cultivars.

 
Installation Name: Sun


"Sun"

Chihuly's Sun is a radiant, 14-foot diameter globe of red, orange and yellow glass branches curling outward from its center. Massed together, the hundreds of twisting glass elements create a powerful effect. Chihuly has said, "No other material gives you color like glass does. No othe rmaterial has the ability to take in light and radiate out color like glass."

The installation sits at the edge of the Martin Rutchik Concert Lawn, just on the lawn side of the bridge that crosses the Rill. It does indeed look like a small sun that has descended to touch the earth.

 

Lay Ornamental Garden

The Lay Ornamental Garden is a favorite place of ours, not in small measure due to the three waterfalls that form its backdrop.


The Lay Ornamental Garden is a 2.2-acre Texas cottage garden, filled with hundreds of perennials and a dynamic falling water curtain set against native limestone walls. It was designed for Mrs. Amelia (Mimi) Lay Hodges in honor of her husband, Herman Lay. The garden also is home to a collection of bronze wildlife figures nestled throughout it; these were donated by the Trammell Crow Family.

Both the Lay and Trammel Crow families are major participants in Dallas philanthropy. Trammel Crow began as a small property owner and Realtor, and his companies expanded to become a leading name in office rental properties and new construction nationwide. Herman Lay, who died in 1982, began as a Pepsi-Cola bottler in Mexico, and expanded into snack foods in the 1950s. His name is currently one-half of the famous Frito-Lay snack empire which, in a not-so-odd turn, is part of PepsiCo- Herman Lay's first employer. Both men and their families have also been involved with the Morton Myerson Symphony Hall. The Trammel Crow family continues to sponsor concerts, and a branch of the Lay family donated the huge pipe organ that is the pride of the Myerson.

 
Installation Name: Fiori Sun


"Fiori Sun"

"What makes the Fiori Sun work for me," Chihuly said, "is the massing of color. If you take a thousand blown pieces of a color, put them together, and then shoot light through them, now that's going to be something to look at."

The installation was certainly amazing, lit as it was by the bright Dallas summer sun.

 
Installation Name: Turquoise and Clear Eelgrass


"Turquoise and Clear Eelgrass"

At the back of the Lay Ornamental Garden, there are three waterwalls; sheet waterfalls that descend between concrete pillars. In front of each of them, Chihuly had installed an element of his Garden Glass series. In the photo at left, you can see Fred, Guy and two of these installations.

We walked westward from the waterwalls to the entrance to the Lay Garden and our access out to the Paseo de Flores.

 

Paseo de Flores

Coming out of the Lay Ornamental Garden heading back west, we are at the eastern end of the Paseo de Flores- the main walkway through the center of the Arboretum


The Lyda Bunker Hunt Paseo de Flores, known simply as the Paseo, is the central walkway of the Dallas Arboretum. This meandering pathway, designed by Luis Santana, runs from the Trammell Crow Visitor Education Pavilion to the Alex Camp House and the entrance to the Lay Ornamental Garden.

 
Installation Name: Red Reeds


In front of the Alex Camp house is the the circular Fogelson Fountain. The fountain was donated by the late Greer Garson in memory of her husband, Buddy. This fountain and its pool were the setting for the largest of the Reeds installations.

Chihuly made the first Reeds in Finland; the factory's high ceilings made the tall, thin glass sculptures possible (well, that and a mechanical life to raise the glassblower high off the floor). As Chihuly said, "In Finland we started making these long, cylindrical pieces which loojked like spears. This was an exciting new form. It was the first time we ever made anything like that. They can be taken anywhere; they can go outside. They are very strong pieces, and they are very dramatic."

That is certainly true of this installation. The red cast from the glass even made the lily pads in the fountain appear reddish.

 
Installation Name: Ruby Fiddleheads


Going west along the Paseo, the next installation we came to was the Ruby Fiddleheads. The Fiddleheads were another example of Chihuly's Garden Glass series, which reflects the artist's affinity for plant-like forms. "There's something about the fluidity of glass that makes it want to make forms from nature", Chihuly said. "My forms are made in a very natural way, using fire, gravity, and centrifugal force, so they look like they come from nature. But I don't look at pictures of plants and say now I'm going to make one that looks like that."

 
Installation Name: Dallas Star


"Dallas Star"

If there was ever a sculpture with a dramatic burst of energy, this may be it. The artist repeats one icicle shape hundreds of times to visually explode this sphere. The movemen t is in the color: the energy of the deep cobalt blue of the core is quickly released by the clear glass of the outer sphere.

The Dallas Star was certainly an energetic piece, and while energy is a characteristic found in all of Chihuly's artwork, this installation exemplified it perhaps better than any other. When asked about the way he works, Chihuly answered, "Quick and immediate and spontaneous, with an element of chance." And asked about where ideas come from he said: "The only explanation I'm ever able to give about where things come from is 'energy.' That has to come out in one way or another. Sometimes it's more destructive, sometimes it's more beautiful, sometimes more creative. Energy can go in so many directions, and you have to harness it. Correction! Youy don't harness it, you use it. You put it to good use."

Back on the Paseo, we headed towards the entrance and the last two Chihuly installations.

 
Installation Names:   Green and White Striped Reeds
Black and White Striped Reeds


"Black and White Striped Reeds"
"Green and White Striped Reeds"

This was the final installation of Chihuly's Reeds that we encountered in the Arboretum (and, as a matter of fact, the last Chihuly installation we visited). The tall, slender glass spears could only have been made in a glassblowing factor with high ceilings- like the Hackman factory in Finland, where Chihuly first made them. As Chihuly said, "This was an exciting new form. They can be taken anywhere; they can go outside. They are very strong pieces, and they are very dramatic."

But then we thought that all of Chihuly's pieces were dramatic.

We continued walking down the Paseo de Flores and back to the entrance. The day had gotten very, very warm, and while the sculptures were amazing to look at, we were all ready for some shade and cool air back at home.

 

Some Time at Home

Returning from the Arboretum, we spent the afternoon with Guy, and ended up having dinner with him at a restaurant nearby. The next morning, we took him out to the airport for his flight back to Sioux Falls. We'd enjoyed having him, even if it was just for a short time.

That afternoon, I was accompanied by the cats as Fred and I did some Internet surfing. I happened to be watching some news videos, which gave me the idea for a staged photograph. I have put that photograph below. You may be able to figure out what it is all about but, if you can't, just email me and I'll explain it:

HINT: If you can't read it clearly, the title of the book in the chair is "Convention".

You can use the links below to continue to another photo album page.


September 18, 2012: Summer's End at Downhill Run Acres
August 4-15, 2012: Housesitting in San Antonio
Return to the Index for 2012