In Pittsburgh, there is an oddly named institution called the Phipps Conservatory. Oddly named, at least to me, because in my mind conservatory=music. Phipps, rather, is a collection of botanical gardens, both inside and out, featuring a staggering variety of plant life from around the globe (the latest addition is a Southeast Asian rainforest room). The girlfriend, K, took me there last year and, although I'm not really a botanical person, it was quite interesting.
A few weeks ago, oddly enough just after jedi jawa had his experience at Blenko Glass, K and I, along with her best friend and her best friend's daughter, headed to Phipps to take in a special exhibit, involving an artist named Dale Chihuly. Chihuly, among other things, works with glass (he also, sadly, looks like Rich Williams from Kansas). His pieces were placed around the Phipps gardens, in ways that contrast and complement the plant life.
K took many loverly pictures. This was the chandelier that was hanging in the main foyer of the conservatory. Pretty cool, huh?
These flaming stalagmites really brought some color to the Serpentine Room.
Several gardens had long glass pikes driven into the ground, the red ones being the most eye-catching.
This Medusa-esque piece was in the aforementioned rainforest room. It's hard to see, but most of the "fingers" had little nubbies on them for texture.
Yes, it's a glass flower in a pot.
This would make a great album cover for, oh, this album (or specifically a CD single of "Ocean Cloud"), don't you think?
Another sprawling piece in the (I think) rainforest room.
Note the edging on the round bits here.
Another amazing chandelier.
Purple pikes int the cactus room.
Another dazzling chandelier, this time made up of multiple bowl-like pieces.
K's favorite room.
Finally, the sort of centerpiece for the whole deal, with your humble narrator and the lovely and photographically talented K in the foreground.
The exhibit runs through November 11. I highly recommend it if you're in the area.