Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Non-horse art

This is a blog about model horse tack, which means I mostly write about horses...
and tack...
and toys...
and art. 
Usually the art is horse related...
but today it's not.  Sorry.  My blog, my rules. 
When I met Seth, he was pursuing a career as a golf course superintendent.  To that end, he spent a couple years working as the turf grass manager at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, Tennessee.  
As its name would suggest, the Dixon was a small but impressive art museum and botanic garden.  During his stay, the Dixon hosted an exhibit by the renowned glass artist, Dale Chihuly.
I hadn't heard of him before, and as Seth and I watched the large glass installations take over the Dixon's indoor and outdoor spaces, I can't say I was terribly impressed.
His pieces were too big, too weird and too non-representational.  I just didn't get it.
In the nearly twenty years since then, Dale Chihuly has created a lot of exhibits for different botanic gardens around the country.  This year, it was Denver's turn.  
A couple weekends ago, Seth and I spent an evening at the Denver Botanic Gardens.
We arrived early and stayed late, which allowed us to view the glass in both the sunshine...
and the dark.
I can't say I liked every single piece,
but I liked it a lot more than I did all those years ago in Memphis.
I'm far less rigid in my tastes these days.  Instead of trying to make everything fit into my own preconceived notions, I try to appreciate things for what they are.  So I admired the size...
and the spectacle, 
the color, 
and the interplay of light...
and shadow,
and all those  wonderful reflections.
It's not the kind of art I want to make, but I enjoyed looking at it, and I'm grateful to have had an opportunity for a second look at Mr. Chihuly's work.
And for everyone who wishes I would only blog about horses, here's a little horse art from the Denver Botanic Gardens:
I promise tomorrow's post will be horsey!


  1. Personally, I love (some of) Dale Chihuly's artwork.

    I thought I was lucky to see one or two of his pieces at the CMOG (Corning Museum of Glass) here in New York. I would've been absolutely THRILLED to have seen his complete installation at the Denver Botanic Gardens!

    PBS recently had a very interesting, very informative special on him.

  2. I think I might have seen his art at the Boston art museum before! It was inside though. I love art like this and drawing, but I also love horses and animals! When are you planning on
    finnishing that lovely horse story of yours? I'd love to hear the rest of it and what happened to chief!

    1. I'll get back to that eventually, but the story line will swing from Chief to Snickers.

      As far as I know, Chief lived out the rest of his life at Tom Sawyer. Although he didn't act it, he was an old horse (late teens/early twenties) when I met him. The last time I saw him was probably 1990 or so, and age had finally caught up to him. His face was very grey, and he was being ridden by campers, not staff.

  3. Ahh, I must have been to the Dixon multiple times for class trips! I must have seen his work at some time! It is so beautiful! ~Sarah

  4. beautiful pics. i have been mesmerized by Chihuly's work since first seeing an installation in elementary school. your photographs capture the pieces so well!

  5. Really nice to hear that your opinion of Chihuly's work is just about what mine is! I've seen it in the CMOG (only 3 hours away from central PA). Glass and model horses do have much in common: think chinaheads and glossies. And for some reason I was recently viewing that bit and curb pic...

  6. Here's a little story for the Chihuly fans: There's a fair amount of breakage during an installation. Collecting the broken glass was strictly prohibited, but one of Seth's co-workers gathered up a bunch of shards and turned them into Christmas tree ornaments. She then gifted the ornaments to most of the staff, but unfortunately NOT Seth. He got a beautiful antique glass ornament instead. It's one of my favorites, but all these years later, I STILL wish we had one of the contraband Chihuly ornaments!