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Chihuly exhibition comes to gardens at Biltmore 


If you missed the most recent run of Dale Chihuly’s glass sculptures at the Atlanta Botanical Garden in 2016, the chance to see them again is just a day trip away.

Biltmore House and Gardens in Asheville will host its first art exhibition in the historic gardens. Chihuly at Biltmore opens May 17. The large-scale glass art sculptures will be on display through Oct. 7. 

Chihuly is known around the world as a leader in developing glass as fine art. In 2004, the first time a Chihuly exhibition came to the Atlanta Botanical Garden, the artist was still fairly new to creating garden installations.

More than a decade later, the productions have become a boon to both the artist and the gardens. It gave the Seattle-based glass artist new avenues to show his work and his exhibits often bring dramatic increases in attendance to the gardens. 

In 2004 during the Chihuly exhibition, the Atlanta Botanical Garden saw visits jump from 200,000 to 425,000. Memberships rose from 12,000 to 19,000 households.

A 2014 Chihuly show at the Denver Botanic Gardens helped bring in 1.4 million guests and earn the garden the title of most-visited public garden in North America for that year.

The Chihuly at Biltmore exhibition will feature artworks both inside Biltmore House and in the gardens. The price of the exhibition is included in Biltmore admission for daytime visitors. It marks the artist’s first major garden exhibition in North Carolina.

From spring through fall, guests will have the chance to see Chihuly’s Reeds, Towers and organic forms in glass against the backdrop of gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, known as the father of American landscape architecture.

Related: At Biltmore, the genius of Frederick Law Olmsted hides in plain sight

Chihuly and Biltmore’s landscape teams collaborated on special garden plantings throughout the Estate. Highlights include a representation of the The Sun on the Front Lawn, a Venice-inspired installation in the Winter Garden, three installations in the Italian Garden inspired by Japanese fishing floats and the Chandeliers from Chihuly’s iconic series in the glass Conservatory. 

Some works, such as a Tower in the Walled Garden and a new installation in the Antler Hill Village & Winery, were created specifically for Biltmore.

The Estate will also host special reservation-only, ticketed Chihuly Nights at Biltmore when the artworks will be illuminated and guests can enjoy live music and a selection of wines while in the gardens.

Guests who wish to stay overnight can take advantage of special Chihuly-inspired stay packages at The Inn on Biltmore Estate or Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate.  

For tickets and information visit Biltmore.com.


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About the Author

Nedra Rhone has been a features reporter with the AJC for 10 years. She’s written about everything from fashion to food to news.