Colors, shapes thrive at Seattle’s Chihuly Garden and Glass

Chandeliers are one of the many art styles at the Chihuly Garden and Glass

So, what do you do when you’re in the backyard of glass artist Dale Chihuly? Obviously, you make time to visit the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit at the Seattle Center. Chihuly hails from nearby Tacoma, and is a graduate of the University of Washington.

The eight-room exhibit center features hundreds of blown-glass artwork by the talented artist. The collection features art from various forms favored by Chihuly – seaforms, macchia (based on Italian color spots), Venetian, baskets and flowers.

Exploring the exhibit could take hours if someone was so inclined to do so. I enjoyed my visit of about 90 minutes or so.

My favorite spot was the Glasshouse. The main attraction was seeing the Space Needle through the glass ceiling, bordered by the glass flowers hanging from the ceiling – 40 feet tall. The Glasshouse offers a simple, yet beautiful view of a 100-foot long display of colors.

Love the Space Needle view

A glass forest greets visitors as they start their tour of the exhibit. The display highlights size and composition. Chihuly created the pieces while working as an instructor at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Glass Forest was one of Dale Chihuly’s early works

Visitors can take in a view of his early basket art. The baskets are accented by Native American quilts. The center recognizes various artists’ works. During my visit, they recognized the work of Native American artists.

This is possibly my favorite view at the exhibit

A 15-foot Sealife Tower anchors the sealife exhibit. The room has a few towers. His work includes smaller pieces featuring creatures found in the sea and Puget Sound, including starfish, conch shells, sea anemones, turtles and octopus.

Sealife Tower

The Persian Ceiling features smaller pieces next to and under larger ones. It’s a bit mesmerizing. You can stand, lay on the floor or sit on a bench and spend several minutes in the room, taking in the beauty. I like how the light shines through and even reflects off the art.

Persian Ceiling

The Drawing Wall is a conglomeration of Chihuly’s work after he lost sight in one eye and injured a shoulder. He started drawing his ideas, as a communication tool with his team. This helped him explore watercolor papers and acrylic.

Love this display

This is an exhibit where you can shoot photographs every few steps. I think I took more than 100 photos in this room, alone. The art if so beautiful and the design elegant.

The Burning Wall display offers so many views

Ikebana and Float Boats are more exquisite pieces that can make people spellbound. The balls and sea forms inside the boats are impressive. I loved the design of the attraction, especially the reflections.

The boat reflections are among my favorites

The Chandelier Room featured – yep – chandeliers. They were pretty cool to check out. Apparently, Chihuly has been fascinated with space and settings. His chandeliers grew from setting up a display at the Seattle Art Museum. He was challenged by a room. Thus, the chandeliers came into play.


The Macchia Forest features a series of colorful shell-looking pieces. Each piece consists of speckled colors.

Macchia Forest looks like a series of seashells

The last area I checked out was the garden. It combines art pieces with flowers and plants. My favorite display involved a long log encompassed with Chihuly pieces.

The garden offers several views of Chihuly art and flowers and plants

In addition, reflections of the next-door Space Needle can be seen on the glass house, as well as some of the stones.


Chihuly Garden and Glass is an awesome exhibit. Lisa and I plan to visit it on our next trip to Seattle. She loves Chihuly’s work, so it’s kind of a “duh” statement. I recommend everyone visit the attraction.

Love this view of the glass house

For more information on the Chihuly exhibit, please visit

Disclaimer: Descriptions of some of the exhibits were based on information at the Chihuly Garden and Glass. My visit was courtesy of Seattle CityPASS. However, all opinions and views are mine.