Dale Chihuly (born September 20, 1941) is an American glass sculptor and entrepreneur. His works are considered to possess outstanding artistic merit in the field of blown glass, "moving it into the realm of large-scale sculpture." The technical difficulties of working with glass forms are considerable, yet Chihuly uses it as the primary medium for installations and environmental artwork.
Chihuly began experimenting with glassblowing in 1965, and in 1966 he received a full scholarship to attend the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He studied under Harvey Littleton, who had established the first glass program in the United States at the university. In 1967, Chihuly received a Master of Science degree in sculpture. After graduating, he enrolled at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he met and became close friends with Italo Scanga. Chihuly earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in sculpture from the RISD in 1968.
The sculpture, entitled the flame of liberty, was conceived and gifted to the museum by Dale Chihuly. Considered to be the most famous contemporary glass artist in the world. In 1999 Museum founder Irvin Borowsky asked Chihuly to bring this vision of Liberty to life and capture the many qualities of glass: strength, beauty and luminosity. Glass reflects light, and thus illuminates the darkness created by hate and violence. Glass art is a stunning reminder of what can be achieved when we can express ourselves creatively. Glass is also very fragile, just like liberty. Once broken, it is very difficult to make whole again.
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