Chihuly Magic in the Desert

IMG_6419I had a tranquil New Year’s Eve, wandering alone (amidst a crowd of thousands) in the Desert Botanical Gardens. Las Noches de las Luminarias is a beautiful holiday tradition here in the Arizona desert as the gardens are transformed for 31 days by the bright tiny spark of twinkling lights adorning the desert trees and the soft glow from 8,000 hand-lit Luminaria bags lining the walkways. This year, the desert plants were accentuated by the magic of Chihuly glass sculptures.

A starburst of blazing blue captures the guests' attention as they enter the park.

A starburst of blazing blue captures the guests’ attention as they enter the park.

I spent a long time with each sculpture, partly because I searched for angles to photograph, but mostly because they are beautiful, whimsical, and fantastical. It was good that I was alone because I would have annoyed anyone with me by my dawdling.


I am pretty sure that these pieces represent flowers and cacti (need to do some research), but they feel like snakes…beds of brilliantly beautiful snakes.

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23 thoughts on “Chihuly Magic in the Desert

  1. Beautiful photographs Mona!! I am a huge collector of hand blown Art glass myself. And you know I have only tried to photograph a few of my pieces once and I got so frustrated I gave up. That was two years ago. You have inspired me to give it another go. Your photographs of these beautiful pieces are fantastic…

    • Ah Marcus, coming from you this is a great compliment. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have one of these pieces in your home? I love glass … but have very little in my house … I seem to have collected pottery rather than glass. But aren’t these pieces fantastic? I understand that I saw only a fraction of the pieces at the Gardens and have vowed to return.

      • Yes it would be.. I collected Murano and Blenko art glass. I was really into the vintage – antique art glass from the West Virginia companies that made them in the 50’s. Sadly I stopped due to having children and accumulating too many pieces. I still have not taken some out of the boxes I put them in when we moved to this house 10 years ago lol.. Those pieces are amazing and I always love walking into the glass boutiques. There are quite a few amazing artists out there and the pieces you photographed are lovely.. .

        I may need another day to email you those tips. I fell asleep early tonight and I just happened to get some water when I saw your response :-). I’ve started it just not finished it yet. Had some questions for you in regards to the location of the e session and the time of day but you will get my email tomorrow.

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