In Part 1, I discovered my first Dale Chihuly at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia. In Part 2, I read aloud the poetry book my classroom wrote, inspired by the museum.
A recent update: the museum is planning a new Peace exhibit in March. They have asked for my classroom books to be part of the exhibit. Nice!
My second Dale Chihuly is at the Huntington Museum of Art, in Huntington, West Virginia. It stands over ten feet high with 352 hand blown glass pieces, and is housed in their conservatory under a glass canopy, standing in a pond of water. This beautiful art glass is titled, “The Huntington Museum of Art Tower.”
I was born and raised in Huntington, yet I did not see this magnificent glass structure until many years later, as it was constructed in 2006, decades after I married and moved away.
I was lucky to grow up with The Arts- an art gallery in town (which is now this museum), and a series of six theatrical events each year at the gorgeous Keith-Albee movie theater. In order to understand this Dale Chihuly, I need to start at the beginning:
As a child, I went to the Huntington Galleries. It was fun to look around at paintings and sculptures, and also at their famous firearms of the pioneers (long rifle) collection. I took children’s art classes and ceramic classes. Was I good? No. Was it fun? Yes.
Art has a huge impact on the viewer, whether they realize it or not.
Growing up with “The Galleries”, as we called it back in the day, was a part of my childhood. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized how art – even on a small scale – influenced my life. My husband’s brother was a fine artist and restorer, and founded an art college in Pennsylvania. My grandmother Nan had art hanging in her apartment that fascinated me. Art wasn’t a focus, it was just ‘there’.
When I visited the Huntington Museum some years ago, seeing this Chihuly took me back to my childhood, and took me forward to art with children today.
It was Juliet, my preschool student, who confirmed that seeing art has a lasting impression. The one (and 0nly) poster hanging in my classroom is Starry Night. She never said a word… until she went to MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York and saw the ‘real deal.’ Her smile says it all.
Fast forward to my life as a preschool teacher in New England. I am drawn to museums. I introduce children to art – real art – and inspire them to create their own ‘masterpiece’ and display their work for the whole community to see. We have just begun preparing for this year’s show, starting with Grandma Moses. We will recreate Early Renaissance art, Venice, sunflowers, and more. Here are a few photos of our past Art Shows (they always hang at our post office):
It’s seeing a Dale Chihuly that has a lasting impact, and has inspired me to bring art to children, just as it was brought to me as a child. I hope you have enjoyed my Tale of Two Dale Chihuly’s stories.