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Dale Chihuly Exhibition - Oklahoma City Museum of Art

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by Lana Van Cleave (subscribe)
I am a freelance travel writer living in Oklahoma. I am a retired CPA now pursuing my passion for travel of all kinds. Visit my website at
Published June 28th 2022
A 55-foot glass tower is only the beginning

"I want people to be overwhelmed with light and color in some way that they've never experienced." Dale Chihuly

Chihuly Overwhelming Color
Overwhelming Color

Dale Chihuly has become known for bold colors and unique shapes in sculpted glass. His creative energy has brought new life into this medium. So often, we have viewed glass only in terms of vases. He has pushed well beyond those limits for the last five decades. Now his exhibitions delight young and old wherever they are shown.

The Oklahoma City Museum of Art has had a long relationship with Chihuly, first displaying a collection in 2002. Now, the exhibit "Chihuly Then and Now: The Collection at Twenty" is currently open. It will run from June 18, 2022, through June 18, 2024. It is well worth a visit.

Walking into the Museum, the first item you see is the 55-foot colorful glass tower in the atrium. This exceptional creation is made of 2,100 individually blown glass forms. Its captivating presence has been in the Museum for many years.

Chihuly Navajo Blanket Bowls
Navajo Blanket Inspired Bowls

My husband and I began our tour with a glass set inspired by Navajo Blankets. These imaginative and unique cylinders and baskets are made using a technique that results in glass mirroring the patterns and colors on Native American blankets. First, thin pieces of glass are laid in such a pattern, then molten glass is rolled over them. The result—pieces that you would swear had actual blanket threads in the glass.

Chihuly Seaforms

The Seaform Collection is exquisite. The thin, almost transparent glass shaped with ribbed metal molds manifests an ethereal look. The resulting shapes do appear to have come from the sea.

Chihuly Jerusalem Cylinders
Jerusalem Cylinders

The Jerusalem Cylinders are radiant in various luminous colors. Yet their form represents so much more. They were sculpted to represent the jagged walls of the Citadel in the Old City of Jerusalem. A haunting presentation is created by breaking pieces of glass with chisel and hammer, then fusing them into the cylinders.

Chihuly Colorful Ceiling
Colorful Ceiling

A kaleidoscope of brilliant color greets you at the ceiling exhibit. Different shapes, sizes, and colors resting on a glass ceiling are enchanting—you could gaze upon it for hours. A fun thing for children to do is to locate the five cherubs within this explosion of vibrant colors.

Chihuly Ibekana Boat
Ibekana Boat

My favorite exhibit was the Ikebana Boat. In 1995 while in Finland, Chihuly created glass forms and then tossed them into the Nuutajoki River—just to observe their appearance in the water. Boys in wooden boats would pick them up out of the water and place them in their boats. This inspired an installation—long, bright, flower-like glass shapes arranged in a rowboat. It is dazzling and whimsical.

No words describe the beauty Chihuly has captured into his glass forms. Each piece is unique and extraordinary. A visit to the Oklahoma City Museum of Art is a must-see during this two-year presentation. As he desired, you will be overwhelmed by light and color as only he can create.

While there, take the stairs or the elevator to the third floor to view the exciting collection of "The Perfect Shot"—a collection of Walter Ioos's Art of Sports Photography. All the varying emotional aspects of sports are reflected in photos—from an athlete's Anticipation to intense Perseverance to ultimate Triumph or Disappointment, and finally to Reflecton. This is a fascinating collection of photos of some of the well-known sports figures at various times in their careers.
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Why? Chihuly Glass Exhibit on Now
When: Call for hours of operation
Phone: 1-405-236-3100
Where: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Cost: $15
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