Hello again – it’s me once more! I wanted to pop in today and tell you (or really show you) about the Chihuly at Biltmore exhibition that was a huge draw to the past weekend’s trip to Asheville. Dale Chihuly creates gigantic sculptures from blown glass and steel that are mind-bending to see in person – I am still marveling at how a person creates such enormous shapes from glass – but there you have it.
The first pieces we were able to see were at Antler Hill Village – a small taste of what is to come when visiting to house and gardens. The fountain in the center of Antler Hill Village contains blue and purple glass spirals surrounding the fountain and farther along the walkway, amber and gold spires shoot skyward in the second installation.
The display is still being presented at Biltmore Estate – through October 7th – and can be viewed in the daytime as part of your ticket purchase to the house. You can also add on Chihuly Nights as part of your package and take in the sculptures lit in the evening. The tickets we had for the weekend included both daytime and night viewing and I’m so glad we were able to do both – the sculptures take on a completely different look from night to day.
The first piece that you see when you arrive is called Sole d’Oro and is akin to a flaming sun – but I saved that piece for last – I’m getting ahead of myself. After taking in the sunset from the terrace that extends off the side of the house, we headed down into the gardens and to the first installation: the south terrace wall lined with busts and creeping plants…which now included impressive sculptures spun out of glass and imagination and made real.
Following the lines of sculptures positioned all along the stone walls, the garden path wound to an open area that contained two installations of “red reeds” that were illuminated in the night.
Following the steps down into the shrub gardens, two gigantic sculptures were positioned across the garden from one another – red, yellow and orange “flames” swirling upward into the night.
En route to the conservatory were more red reed style sculptures that spun upward into the night sky – these were not as easy to photograph because the lighting didn’t quite illuminate them as well as some of the other sculptures. They were still mesmerizing though!
There were three chandelier style sculptures suspended from the ceilings of the conservatory that were done in blues, aquas, golds and greens – I thought these were particularly lovely!
We made our way back to the front portion of the gardens where some larger sculptures were suspended in the ponds of the Italian Gardens. The first; called Float Boat, was one I really loved – but as you’ll see – it was better viewed in the daylight. I still snapped plenty of pictures of the installation, ha-ha!
The central pond had a white sculpture placed in the center – I’m pretty pleased with the picture I thought to take of the reflection of the piece in the pond, ha-ha!
My favorite piece was the purple spires and green blossoms that took up one end of the third pond in the Italian Gardens – the colors were so vivid in both day and night – and they were hands down my favorite piece of the entire exhibit!
Breathtaking – right? I thought they were glorious! The final piece in the Italian Gardens was another boat filled with reds, yellows and oranges spiraling out of the boat.
Two of the final pieces were on the front porch of the house and inside the winter garden of the house, so we hopped in line to see those. I do love all the blue used on the sculpture at the front of the house – blue is my favorite color!
The final piece inside the house was made with whites, tans and golds and surrounded the fountain in the Winter Garden – and was absolutely huge!
The final piece – the first piece I mentioned – Sole d’Oro! It was a gorgeous sun style fixture that is placed on the expansive front lawn of the house and was a close second for favorite for me!
The lights brought out a whole different view of the sculptures and I was so thrilled to have been able to see them in the night. I was also thrilled to see them the next day in broad daylight and see how they might be different. In case you haven’t yet figured out – this post is essentially a photo dump – because I took so many pictures of these gorgeous sculptures!
I really thought that the Sole d’Oro stood out quite a bit more in the night but the blue piece at the front of the house managed to be striking regardless of day or night. Honestly though – every one of the pieces were beyond impressive, whether viewed in the daylight or the evening!
I snapped quite a few pictures of Float Boat in the sunshine – this sculpture definitely stood out much more in the daylight! The bright colors and designs that make each of the spheres unique are much more visible in the sunshine and it really is a beautiful piece!
We walked back through the gardens and I snapped a few daylight snapshots of the sculptures along the terrace, in the shrub garden and the conservatory – all still impressive but these I thought were a bit…”more” in the night.
The Chihuly at Biltmore Exhibition is absolutely incredible – the sculptures are just amazing to see and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to see them! If you’ve made it this far, I hope you enjoyed my colossal photo dump of all things Chihuly and if you live near the Asheville area – know that you have through October 7th to go see the exhibition!
I’ll leave you with two final snapshots of the piece at Antler Hill Village – we caught it on Saturday evening and I think you’ll agree with me that it was far more stunning in the night light!