Summer Flower Show in bloom at Phipps Conservatory
By Kellie B. Gormly
Published: Thursday, April 25, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
When you walk into the lobby and encounter an 8-foot, multipiece glass sunflower towering over you, you know something is new at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.
The 298-piece, intricately made sunflower — which stands in the Oakland-based Phipps' Welcome Center — greets visitors with their first sight of “Glass in the Gardens,” the conservatory's annual themed Summer Flower Show that opens this week. The show, spread throughout several rooms, features the works of more than 10 Pittsburgh-area glass artists. The glass works include large and small sculptures and glass mosaics by Lisa Platt on the walls of the Welcome Center.
The show continues in the Palm Court, with the passionflower “Passoflora incarnata” creations by Matthew McCormack and Jenn Figg. The windy Serpentine Room features orange marigolds, hot-pink geraniums, hibiscus and other flowers surrounding rotating, lit, stained-glass pillars by Daviea Davis. The Fern Room — which usually stays the same year-round and houses nothing from seasonal shows — even has a few features for the summer show: glass snails on black obsidian rocks, by Nikolaj Christensen.
“I think glass does really well in the conservatory among plants,” says Phipps spokeswoman Liz Fetchin. “I think it's a really nice combination.”
Phipps visitors showed great enthusiasm for the glass creations of Dale Chihuly and Hans Godo Frabel, artists whose work starred in previous Phipps exhibits. Some pieces from each still remain, Fetchin says.
“We wanted to bring the magic back for guests,” she says. “We wanted to support local artists, so it's all local glass.”
In the South Conservatory stands the glass skeleton of a prehistoric wooly mammoth, by Christopher N. Hofmann and Travis Rohrbaugh of the Pittsburgh Glass Center. Chinese lantern glasses float on the water in the Victoria Room.
The whimsical East Room shows a “Wonderland” display of giant glass flowers, flamingolike “leggy birds,” a glass frog and glass fish in a pond. The artist, Gary Guydosh of Greenfield, also created the giant sunflower in the Welcome Center.
Guydosh — who blows and hot-sculpts glass in his studio, Gallery G Glass in Lawrenceville — says that “Glass in the Gardens” educates visitors about talented local glass artists.
“There are a lot of people that still don't know you can get art like mine and others locally,” he says.
Flowers and glass complement each other well, Guydosh says.
“The colors in the glass and the way it reflects the light — it just pops out the plants and the glass and really highlights it,” says Guydosh, who especially likes the look of the glass exhibit at night. “It's totally different if you go in the daytime to see it than in the evening to see it. It will have a totally different look.”
Laura Shoch, plant recorder and display horticulturist, describes the summer flower show as a visual feast filled with lush, tropical plants and flowers surrounded by multicolored annuals.
You can buy many of the plants you see at the upcoming May Market event on May 10 and 11.
Kellie B. Gormly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7824.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kovacevic: Got proof on Tomlin? Let’s hear it
- Ex-Steeler WR Wallace: It was a ‘challenge’ for Haley to use me
- Schmotzer resigns high-paid administrative job with Baldwin-Whitehall
- Ex-Penguins winger Kennedy ‘emotional’ about return
- Dozens of workers strike outside Downtown fast-food locations
- Official: Algeria kills high-level al-Qaida leader
- Film about former Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis in prestigious festival
- Philly tree-lighing ceremony features women fistfighting
- Pirates’ Snider talks about surgery, rebuilding swing
- Steelers coach Tomlin fined $100K by NFL
- 3 accomplices to plead guilty to murder, torture of Mt. Pleasant woman