March 16, 2010

Salk Institute Kicks off 50th Anniversary Celebration with Chihuly at the Salk April 22-27, 2010

Public invited to tour installation of sculptures by renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly; Lecture and book signing also scheduled

Salk News

Salk Institute Kicks off 50th Anniversary Celebration with Chihuly at the Salk April 22-27, 2010

Public invited to tour installation of sculptures by renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly; Lecture and book signing also scheduled

The bold iconic laboratory buildings of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies will receive a dramatic jolt of colorful artwork April 22-27 when the Institute kicks off its 50th anniversary celebration with Chihuly at the Salk – an outdoor installation by artist Dale Chihuly.

The celebratory event is open to the public for day and some evening guided tours ($15/ticket), in the course of which visitors can experience a dozen of Chihuly’s fantastically colorful and expressive glass sculptures. The artwork will be positioned throughout the grounds of the Salk Institute (designed by famed American architect Louis Kahn), marking the first time a Chihuly installation has ever been displayed at a working research institution.

Chihuly Sun

Measuring 15 feet tall, The Sun is a massing of bright orange and yellow hand-blown glass forms protruding from a steel core.

Photo by Terry Rishel.
Click here to download hi res version.

“This fusion of extraordinary scientific, architectural and artistic creativity is indicative of the true spirit of our founder, Jonas Salk,” said Salk Institute President William R. Brody. “We are absolutely delighted that we can open our doors to the public to share this unique experience. And we are deeply appreciative of the generous sponsorship of Joan and Irwin M. Jacobs that made this exhibit possible.”

Chihuly’s The Sun and White Tower, each standing about 15 feet tall, are among the largest sculptures that will be set against the Institute’s austere, angular buildings and courtyard overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and in the adjacent eucalyptus grove. Among the other Chihuly series works on display will include Niijima Floats, large spheres–up to 40 inches in diameter and approximately 60 pounds–with surfaces richly colored in gold and silver leaf and foil; Chandeliers, large hanging sculptures assembled from hundreds of colorful, tentacle-like glass components; and Reeds, translucent spears that appear to jut out from the ground.

“I always look for great places to install my artwork – environments that are interesting, beautiful and have a great architectural feel,” Chihuly said. “The stark visually powerful architecture of the Salk Institute is just one of those kinds of places where I know my artwork and the architecture are going to come together just right.”

An April 25 noon-2 p.m. lecture and book signing with Dale Chihuly ($50/ticket) includes optional self-guided tours starting at 11 a.m. The lecture and signing will take place in the Salk Institute’s Frederic de Hoffmann Auditorium, with limited tickets available. The artist will discuss some of his most significant installations from around the world and touch on the installation at the Salk and the landmark architecture that inspired it. A 15-minute Q&A session will follow.

Dale Chihuly

Dale Chihuly

Photo by Stewart Charles Cohen.
Click here to download hi res version.

A master glass blower from Seattle, Washington, Chihuly has led the avant-garde in the development of glass as a fine art. His work is included in more than 200 museum collections worldwide. Chihuly has created many well-known series of works, among them the Baskets, Persians, and Seaforms, but he is also celebrated for large architectural installations.

In 1995, he embarked on the international project, Chihuly Over Venice, which involved working in glass factories in Finland, Ireland, and Mexico, with the resultant sculptures installed over the canals and piazzas of Venice. In 1999, Chihuly mounted his most challenging exhibition, Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem. More than 1 million visitors attended the Tower of David Museum to view his installations there.

Permanent Chihuly installations can also be seen in hotels and museums around the world, including the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas; The Palm Atlantis Hotel in Dubai; the Ritz-Carlton Millenia in Singapore; the Getty Educational Center in Los Angeles; the Corning Museum of Glass in New York; and the Cincinnati Art Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio, among many others.

All guided public tours for Chihuly at the Salk are $15 per visitor; lecture and book signing is $50. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 858-597-0657. The Salk Institute for Biological Studies is located at 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA.

Chihuly at the Salk Schedule
Installation Tours: April 22-23, 9 a.m.-noon and 2-5 p.m.; $15
Regular Tours: April 24: 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; $15
Regular and Evening Tours: April 26-27, 9 a.m.-noon, 2-6 p.m., and 7-9 p.m.; $15
Public Lecture/Book Signing: April 25, noon-2 p.m.; $50

About the Salk Institute for Biological Studies
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies is one of the world’s preeminent basic research institutions, where internationally renowned faculty probe fundamental life science questions in a unique, collaborative, and creative environment. Focused both on discovery and on mentoring future generations of researchers, Salk scientists make groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of cancer, aging, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and infectious diseases by studying neuroscience, genetics, cell and plant biology, and related disciplines.

Faculty achievements have been recognized with numerous honors, including Nobel Prizes and memberships in the National Academy of Sciences. Founded in 1960 by polio vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk, M.D., the Institute is an independent nonprofit organization and architectural landmark.

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