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Dale Chihuly was introduced to glass while studying interior design at the University of Washington. After graduating in 1965, Chihuly enrolled in the first glass program in the country, at the University of Wisconsin. He continued his studies at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he established the glass program and taught for more than a decade.
In 1968, after receiving a Fulbright Fellowship, Chihuly went to work at the Venini glass factory in Venice. There he observed the team approach to blowing glass, which is critical to the way he works today.
He cofounded Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State in 1971. With this international glass center, Chihuly has led the avant-garde in the development of glass as a fine art.
Chihuly began Chihuly Over Venice, in 1995, for which he created sculptures at glass factories in Finland, Ireland, and Mexico, then installed them over the canals and piazzas of Venice.
In 1999, Chihuly started an ambitious exhibition, Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem; more than 1 million visitors attended the Tower of David Museum to view his installations.
Chihuly’s lifelong fascination for glasshouses has grown into a series of exhibitions within botanical settings. The Garden Cycle began in 2001 at the Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago, and continued at several locations, among them the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, near London, in 2005 and 2019, and the New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, in 2006 and again in 2017.