The UNESCO World Heritage Site-designated Taliesin West, an architectural marvel in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert that served as Frank Lloyd Wright’s former studio and snowbird retreat, is now home to six monumental works by celebrated American glass artist Dale Chihuly. Installed both inside Taliesin and around its landscaped grounds, the colorful glass sculptures are on view through June 19, 2022, as part of Chihuly in the Desert, a social distancing-friendly new exhibition co-presented by Taliesin West and the Desert Botanical Garden. Located just outside of Scottsdale at the foot of the McDowell Mountains, Taliesin West is operated as an open-to-the-public historic landmark by the preservation- and education-focused nonprofit Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, which is also headquartered on the sprawling desert campus.
The artworks, which have been installed to create “a rich dialogue between Wright and Chihuly, pairing the work of the two masters in a way that has never been done before,” and their respective locations at Taliesin West are: the Alabaster and Amber Spire Towers at the Entry Plaza; Red Reeds & Niijima Floats at the Front Pond; Black Saguaros and Scarlet Icicles on the Studio Lawn; Golden Celedon Baskets in the Garden Room; Fire Amber Herons at the Tower Pool, and Marine Blue and Citron Tower at the Garden Squares.
“It is a pleasure to return to the Sonoran Desert with a new exhibition,” said Seattle-based Chihuly in a statement. “Developing and placing work in the distinct environments of Taliesin West and Desert Botanical Garden has been a unique opportunity for me and I hope everyone who visits will find something beautiful and unexpected in the experience.”
“With our World Heritage buildings and mountainous desert backdrop, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation presents its first exhibition of this kind, revealing how art, architecture and nature come together to connect our visitors more deeply with the world around them,” added Stuart Graff, president and CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. “Guests have the rare opportunity to experience a visual conversation between Wright and Chihuly and to see them both in an entirely new way.”
During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation embarked on the first phase of a multiphase research and restoration initiative at Taliesin West to take advantage of (or “pragmatically utilize,” to quote the Foundation) the unplanned and prolonged public closure. The campus reopened to the public in early October of last year with enhanced safety protocols in place and is currently open for public tours seven days a week.
Now through June 19, Taliesin West is offering a special 90-minute, indoor/outdoor guided tour dubbed In The New Light: Wright & Chihuly that explores both the campus and the newly installed Chihuly works. (Sunset Sips, a just-launched happy hour evening experience is also now available to guests who are looking to stick around and catch the desert sunset with a glass of beer, wine, or other refreshment in hand.) Beginning in January, Taliesin West will debut another new after-hours experience, Chihuly Nights. This 60-minute, self-guided outdoor tour will permit guests to explore the historic core of the campus grounds at night while viewing the six works by Chihuly, which will be illuminated with special lighting beneath a vast blanket of stars.
More ticketing information on Chihuly in the Desert at Taliesin West can be found here. Further details on the portion of the exhibition presented at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix (a roughly 30-minute drive from Taliesin West) can be found here.