Whimsical glass art sprouts at Phipps
Nearly 200 intricate, handmade glass creations from German artist Hans Godo Frabel will decorate the rooms of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens for the next eight months.
"Life in the Gardens: Frabel Glass at Phipps," which opens Wednesday at the Oakland conservatory, features 185 artsy glass pieces carved in shapes that often look convincingly like the real thing: for instance, frogs and lilies, officials say. Other shapes include whimsical clowns, flower goblets, humanistic vines, reptiles, geometric shapes and aliens. Visitors will love the exhibit, says Richard Piacentini, executive director of Phipps.
"I think they're going to have a lot of fun with it -- the figures and the characters, and the way they interact," he says. "It's just a fun exhibit; it's really exciting. ... These things actually look like they're real."
Frabel's glass comes from boron crystal, which has a more intricate look than the fluid appearance of blown glass. Frabel -- a native of Germany who now lives and works in Atlanta -- is known for pioneering the lampwork technique. This type of glasswork uses a gas-fueled torch to melt rods and tubes of clear and colored glass. Boron glass sculptures take several weeks to create, whereas blown-glass pieces can be completed in about an hour, Frabel says.
"Glass is a magical -- and at the same time, very difficult -- material," Frabel says in an e-mail interview. "The interesting thing of glass, especially clear glass, is that you do not really know what your sculpture is going to look like until you have finished it and see what effect you will get when the light hits it.
"Glass is just a magical medium -- the translucency, the way the sun 'plays' with the sculpture -- that always attracted me," he says.
Frabel, an avid gardener, says he is excited to display his work at Phipps, which he calls a good fit.
"Although it is nice to see your work in museums and galleries, it is always very exciting to me to display my work in a natural setting," he says. "I believe that both art and nature enhance each other and make for a great exhibition. For over 30 years, I have had several of my glass works in my own yard, really just to please myself."
Piacentini says the enormous success of the Dale Chihuly glass exhibit two years ago made Frabel's exhibit especially appealing. The Chihuly works were displayed at Phipps from May 2007 through February 2008, and drew more than 375,000 visitors from around the globe to Phipps, officials say.
"The Chihuly exhibit was an extraordinary experience for us at Phipps. It put Phipps on the map for a lot of people in Pittsburgh," Piacentini says. "We've been looking around for another exhibit that we think would be of great interest to the community.
"I think we learned something really important a couple of years ago -- that glass and plants in a garden are really an extraordinary experience," he says.Additional Information:
'Life in the Gardens: Frabel Glass at Phipps'
When : Wednesday through Jan. 20. Phipps' hours are 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays-Thursdays, and 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays.
Admission : $10; $9 for age 62 and older and students with ID; $7 for ages 2-12
Where : Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, 1 Schenley Park, Oakland
Details : 412-622-6914 or www.phipps.conservatory.org
Note : Phipps will be holding a preview party on Tuesday evening, when Hans Godo Frabel will be visiting. Tickets that include a VIP reception with Frabel are $125 to $175; general admission tickets to the Garden Glitter Reception with the Young at HeART are $40. For details and tickets, visit the Phipps Web site.
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.
- Starkey: Stupid Steelers
- Steelers running backs Bell, Blount will face drug charges
- Munhall council president says layoffs possible
- Glassport council moves forward with police station; councilman resigns
- It’s only exhibition, but these Steelers could solidify roster spots vs. Eagles
- 2 dead in New Kensington shooting; woman says male victim her son
- Pitt sophomore Coles leaves football team
- Commitment by Steelers’ Gilbert pays off
- Catholic Diocese of Greensburg injunction becomes permanent
- Braves’ error, Sanchez’s sacrifice fly in 9th help Pirates snap long skid
- Man admits preying on Lower Burrell neighbor, taking more than $100K in money, goods