When we were visiting the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state, last year, we visited the Chihuly Museum and Gardens in Seattle (next to the Space Needle). It was so impressive, that when I heard about the Chihuly Collection in St. Petersburg, we knew we wanted to visit it.
Google Maps took us to a location opposite the street where the collection is located. After driving around a couple of blocks, we ended up parking on the street in a spot for three-hour, no-charge parking.
Upon entry to the museum, there is a spacious gift shop. I loved these umbrellas, but ended up not buying one due to the cost ($36/each).
Anxious to see the Collection, we proceeded to the exhibits. In the first gallery were the following: Glass "Baskets" collection (1977-2008); Carnival Chandelier (2009), Azul de Medianoche Chandelier (2004) and the Drawing Wall (2009).
I loved this piece...on two walls, Sunset Persian Wall (2010). And the Persian Ceiling (2008). If you are ever in Las Vegas, check out the Chihuly ceiling in the lobby of the Bellagio. It is amazing!
The Float Boat (2010) exhibit is similar to ones we saw in Seattle. Exquisite! These works were inspired by time spent in Japan by Chihuly.
This Ruby Red Icicle Chandelier (2010) is just gorgeous.
The Ikebana pieces were also inspired by Chihuly's time in Japan The forth piece reflects an Italian influence. Below are the following: Silvered White Spotted Ikebana with Gilded Purple Stems (2006); Verdant Green Ikebana with Emerald Leaf and Two Stems (2002); Muted Raspberry Ikebana with Gilded Pink Stems (2002); and Silvered Sunflower Piccolo Venetian with Teal Lilies (2009).
This Blue Neon Tumbleweed (2009) piece is a circular room. I took this photo looking up at the glass sculpture. It is definitely something you have to personally experience!
Mille Fiori (2010) gives the illusion of a grading (although constructed of glass). There was a similar exhibit in the Seattle museum. Both are spectacular.
Below are some of the pieces displayed in the Macchia Forest (2010) exhibit.
We spent some time browsing the gift shop that had Chihuly-inspired items. Also, there are various small glass pieces that can be purchased here.
Admission to the Chihuly Collection is $19.95/adults and $17.95/seniors, although discounts can be applied to entrance fee if you purchase a City Pass. Nonetheless, we enjoy this art so much, that it is worth the price for us. For additional information about the museum, hours of operations, etc., access www.moreanartscenter.org/chihuly/.
After visiting the museum, we walked along Central Avenue, the arts district in St. Petersburg. There are lots of interesting shops, coffee shop, and restaurants in the area.
If you are in the Tampa Bay Area, this neighborhood is a great place to visit for lunch and an enjoyable afternoon.