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.
I enjoyed your sharing of this, Jennie xx
I’m so glad, Ritu! 🥰
Wow, amazing art works on display! I am fascinated by creative abstract artwork which can take different meanings as per our imagination.
The beauty of art is that it means different things to different people.
You took your own passion, and passed it on to the young minds of those school kids. That’s a gift for which there is no comparison, Jennie.
Best wishes, Pete.
That is so kind of you to say, Pete. Thank you!
Thank you for the great information, Jennie! Its wonderful grewing up, and beeing able to visit museums. The nearest accessible museum (which could also be called that) was about 100 kilometers away. Always a long planning phase for teachers, given the specifications of our Ministry of Education.
I wish we could take students to museums. The next best thing is if I go and pass that onto the parents, hopefully inspiring them to take their child. Having a museum to visit when growing up is a wonderful thing. Best to you, Michael.
Lets hope the different vaccines will help soon.. Actually its lost time, but we can be hopeful. Best wishes, Michael
I really hope so, Michael!
It is so wonderful that Dale Chihuly ‘s art has influenced you and your students. I’m sure he would love to know that.
Hmmm… you know I’m the letter writer. Perhaps I need to let him know. Thank you, Darlene.
Yup, write that letter. xo
Art is one of the intangibles in life, like music and nature, that has the ability to touch our heart and our soul without us even knowing it.
You’re welcome, Pam.
I enjoyed it, as I’m sure your students enjoy your love of art and how you share it with them
Thank you, Beth. 💕
Thank you for sharing the second Chihuly sculpture. When I enlarged it on the screen for a better look, I could see that the screen of my little Chromebook doesn’t do it justice. It must be just splendid in person. I enjoyed reading about the role art played in your growing up years. For me, it was books and my dad’s oral storytelling. I look forward to the Aqua Roomers’ 2021 art show!
I’m glad you enjoyed it. The venue of a conservatory with lovely exotic plants and a pond really sets the stage for his art. I don’t think it was a huge part of my life, but it certainly impacted me. Isn’t it funny that my reading aloud to children (biggest passion) comes without growing up being read to? I can see how you became the wonderful writer you are, storytelling has made a big impact on you. That’s reflected in your reviews. Best to you, Liz.
When I enlarged the photo, I did notice two koi in the pond. It is ironic that you weren’t read to as a child, and now it’s such a part of who you are. I am so thankful that my parents gave me the gift of storytelling.
I’ll have to go back to the photo and see those koi fish. It is ironic about the reading. Storytelling is as important as reading. Yes, how wonderful for you.
Well told, Jennie. I have always loved art as well. I remember buying art instead of other stuff. (like a needed new car). You are opening the children to a lifetime pleasure. Well done.
Thank you, John. Perhaps the children will one day realize they have a love of art. I hope so. I remember buying art when we really didn’t have the money and could have spent it on something practical. Still, like you I’m glad we chose art.
Lovely post. Great art gallery
Art like music can be a wonderful stimuli!
How wonderful you pass your love of art on to your students Jennie. I had an art teacher in 6th grade who took us to all the Boston area museums. My favorite one to this day is the Isabella Gardner Stewart Museum.
Lucky you! I love the Gardner Museum. See, she left an impression. 🙂
Reblogged this on alkaplan and commented:
Art is not only beautiful, it inspires. Research has proven that an arts education helps develop critical thinking skills.
Thank you, A.L. 🙂
Jennie, this is wonderful! Thank you for sharing it with us.
My pleasure, Charles. I’m glad you enjoyed it.
Another great post, Jennie.
Thank you, Anneli! 🙂
As a child I went to the Portland(Oregon)Art Museum for an exhibition of Monet’s Water Lilies. They had the same impact on me that the art had on you. As a college student I went to every museum and opening in Boston and New York that I could. Now that we are back in the East, I continue to visit as many as I can, appreciating that I can make repeat visits to really look at one thing instead of trying to cram in a whole exhibition.
You got to see Monet’s Water Lilies as a child. Wow! What a wonderful story and chronology of what happens when you’re exposed to art. We were the lucky ones. Like you, I visit museums whenever I can. Multiple visits allow me to soak up the art. It’s much like hearing “Charlotte’s Web” again and again.
Since I taught at an art college, my daughter accompanied me to many art openings. She has taken her kids to museums on a regular basis since they were very young.
What a magnificent idea to hang their work in a public place like a post office for all to see. I can’t ever remember seeing artwork in a post office before.
It is a perfect place for the Art Show, as the foyer is large with nothing except a big blank wall that faces the windows. We include a guest book for people to sign and comment.
Wondeful, Jennie. I love that the children’s masterpieces get to hang in a public gallery for all to see and appreciate. How many other artists will be inspired by them?
It is a fitting finale to all their hard work. I hope the inspiration is contagious. 🙂
I’m sure it is.
I did, very much so. The Corning Glass Co In Corning, NY is only 90 miles south of me, yet I’ve not visited it. Something to do this summer
That sounds like a great plan!
I have always enjoyed looking at art and spending time in museums. Exposing the children to art, and helping them to appreciate their own talent is a wonderful idea, Jennie. They may not understand the importance of what your teaching them or exposing them to, but they will.
Well said, Dan. Exposure, without understanding, makes a big impact. Children realize that later in life, like I did.
Thanks for sharing this! I absolutely enjoyed reading!😃🌸
I am glad to see this article. This is a lovely art gallery.
Yes, it is. Thank you!