Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Best Job Ever

I am writing an article about the Phipps Conservatory Spring Flower show, so I got a behind the scenes tour today. At first, I was thinking, "how exciting can flowers be?" The answer is VERY! The landscape architect who designs the shows is so passionate. I had no idea you could do such things with flowers, feel so impassioned about impatiens. She made me so excited for March when the show goes in.

She also gave me a behind-the-scenes look at how the Chihuly exhibit arrived. Hundreds of hours went into digging the pond for the glass boat, moving soil to rearrange rooms for glass installations. Each little piece of glass comes packaged separately in custom made foam. Five tractor trailers filled with boxes delivered the glass pieces and the steel frames they hang from. I just feel so informed.

The exhibit designers at Phipps are unique because they change out entire rooms of flowers four times per year while most conservatories have permanent exhibits. So Dale Chihuly could come here and say what he wanted the rooms to look like, rather than make glass to fit what already existed like at places such as New York Botanical Gardens.

He took a peek at a display and made a computer generated image of a glass work he thought would be cool. Then the florists designed a garden to go around it. The whole artistic exhibit looked so organic, as if the glass grows from the earth. All because of this rad lady I met (a Penn State landscape architecture grad!)

Man, it is energizing to see someone excited about her work and to get to be a part of that for a morning. The best part was the free admission to the Chihuly exhibit after I was done. I got to see the gardens and glass by day for free!


Valtastic said...

Did you take pictures?

Katy said...

i didn't have my camera with me. what a bummer, right?

Jane said...

how long is that chihuly exhibit there?

pghrugbyangel said...

Katy! I am so jealous! You know, we used to have an Angel - Rosie - who worked at Phipps. But she left us for Maryland.... I'm still jealous of you for getting not only a behind the scenes, but for seeing the whole show!!!!

Snacky D said...