Make us your home page
Instagram

Chihuly Collection gets larger gift shop in new director's renovation

ST. PETERSBURG — The Chihuly Collection, starring Dale Chihuly's dramatic glass installations, has been a big arts destination since it opened in 2010 on Beach Drive in downtown St. Petersburg.

Soon, it will have a larger draw thanks to help from a Chihuly expert. Reconfigured space has been turned into a new 800-square-foot gallery for special exhibitions and a 2,500-square-foot gift shop.

The gift shop opens April 5 with a wide variety of merchandise ranging from $1 to $8,600. For the grand opening that day, admission to the Chihuly Collection will be $1 rather than the usual $14.95.

The goal, said Andy Schlauch, that expert who became the first executive director of the collection several months ago, "is to generate more revenue and planned events."

The changes will appeal to first-time visitors seeking souvenirs and mementos but should also attract locals. Typically, they return infrequently unless an arts venue has a new attraction such as changing shows. And the gift store, which has a separate entrance on Beach Drive, has added items geared more toward gift-giving that aren't necessarily associated with the glass artist.

The galleries housing the $7 million Chihuly glass collection will remain unchanged, continuing to showcase the international art star's iconic sculptures. The small retail space at the entrance will become the special exhibitions gallery which, for several months, will feature glass vessels by St. Petersburg's Duncan McClellan and works by glass artists with whom he has worked. The admissions area, which occupied space across from the collection and included a small theater to show films about Chihuly, has been gutted. Its walls are lined with horizontal planks of cypress and cedar and display cases are wrapped in stamped tin to emulate Chihuly's famous boathouse near Seattle. Purple accents are a nod to his love of color.

Schlauch is masterminding the changes.

"Many new items will be unique and specific to us," Schlauch said.

He would know.

Schlauch, 35, worked for Chihuly in Seattle for six years before moving to St. Petersburg to oversee the Chihuly Collection, which is owned by the Morean Arts Center.

"Dale is very generous and wanted to help," said Wayne Atherholt, executive director of the Morean. "The Chihuly Collection and the Morean are both doing very well but we wanted to take the collection to the next step. Andy was the perfect person because nobody knows Dale Chihuly like Andy. He basically gave us Andy." (Not literally: He's an employee of and paid by the Morean but was suggested by Chihuly for the job.)

Though he has a degree in art history, Schlauch has mostly worked on the business side of arts organizations. For Chihuly, he was the liaison with galleries selling the artist's work and oversaw gallery exhibitions and worked with collectors. He managed sales and distribution. He advised on public relations, catalogs and displays. The new job is like a microcosm of the former one.

The popular, Chihuly-branded items sold in the old, smaller space — from a $7.95 magnet to the $100 coffee-table books — will be there along with T-shirts, hats and pens that reference the Chihuly Collection specifically. The limited editions of Chihuly's work will continue to debut four times a year and cost between $4,600 and $8,600.

Schlauch has also contracted with regional fine craft artists so the store will have a larger, more diverse inventory with jewelry, artisanal soap and ceramics, for example.

Lennie Bennett can be reached at lbennett@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8293.

.Fast facts

If you go

Grand opening for the new Chihuly Collection gift shop, 400 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg, is April 5. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission that day for the Chihuly Collection, open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., is $1.

Chihuly Collection gets larger gift shop in new director's renovation 03/27/14 [Last modified: Saturday, March 29, 2014 12:06am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Gregg Allman of The Allman Brothers Band dies at age 69

    Music & Concerts

    SAVANNAH, Ga. — Music legend Gregg Allman, whose bluesy vocals and soulful touch on the Hammond B-3 organ helped propel the Allman Brothers Band to superstardom and spawn Southern rock, died Saturday, a publicist said. He was 69.

    This Oct. 13, 2011 file photo shows Gregg Allman performs at the Americana Music Association awards show in Nashville, Tenn. On Saturday, May 27, 2017, a publicist said the musician, the singer for The Allman Brothers Band, has died. (AP Photo/Joe Howell, File)
  2. Gregg Allman dies at age 69

    Blogs

    From our friends at the Associated Press:

    Singer/Songwriter Gregg Allman performs during the 2010 BamaJam Music & Arts Festival at the corner of Hwy 167 and County Road 156 on June 5, 2010.
  3. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 28

    Events

    Alabama: The country music all-timers hit the road for the Southern Drawl tour with openers, the Charlie Daniels Band. 7 p.m., Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $26-$86. (813) 301-2500.

    Handout photo of Alabama, performing 5/28/17 at Amalie Arena in Tampa. Credit: Alan Messer
  4. Find serenity at Grand Cayman Island's Cemetery Beach

    Travel

    GRAND CAYMAN ISLAND

    Hey, cruisers, if you've been to Hell and back, snuggled with the stingrays and taken photos with the turtles at the Cayman Turtle Centre, you might be looking for something different on your next trip. (Guilty!)

    Good snorkeling can be found off shore at Cemetery Beach in Grand Cayman.
  5. Karen Bail, who helped Gibbs kids get to Broadway, retires

    Stage

    ST. PETERSBURG — When neatnicks retire, they leave no trace behind. Their desks are clean, like a runway after the plane has taken off.

    Karen Bail warms up seniors Jonathan O’Brien, left, as Juan Peron and Addam Setzer as Che Guevara before the dress rehearsal of Evita in April.