Visitors to the Chihuly Collection art gallery in downtown St. Petersburg can expect a new Chihuly experience when they step into the gallery's expanded retail store.
A grand opening is planned from 4-6 p.m. April 4 at the gallery at 400 Beach Drive. The following day visitors can tour Seattle Artist Dale Chihuly's permanent collection of glass-blown creations for the discounted price of $1.
The Chihuly Collection
, owned by the Morean Arts Center, opened nearly four years ago. It is the first installation of Chihuly's internationally acclaimed glass sculptures in a building specifically designed for that purpose by award-winning architect Albert Alfonso of Tampa.
The approximately 2,500-square-foot retail store increases the space for merchandise from the Chihuly Workshop, including 2014 studio edition glasswork, limited edition prints, books, DVDs, notecards and assorted Chihuly-brand gifts. The shop will have a separate entrance off Beach Drive.
Among the studio editions for sale are Marigold Persian, Sahara Basket Set, Maya Blue Persian and Zinnia Macchia.
There also is a new emphasis on showcasing Florida artists of all mediums in the reconfigured and redesigned retail shop. The inventory will include more jewelry, artisanal soaps and pottery. And, about 1,000 square feet of former retail space now is a rotating art gallery that will feature glass artwork from artists around the country.
"We're trying to have more products of Florida artists along with the elements of Chihuly," says Andy Schlauch, the Chihuly Collection's executive director.
Cypress, black steel and concrete floors are among the architectural features of the interior design by Rob Bowen Design
. The special touches are meant to mimic Chihuly's famous boathouse in Seattle, says Schlauch.
"It's a new open floor plan," says Schlauch. "I especially love the dark charchoal concrete floors. The feel will be something very different from what people experience on Beach Drive."
Writer: Kathy Steele
Source: Andy Schlauch, Chihuly Collection