This is a big weekend for studio glass in St. Petersburg. Dale Chihuly is the headliner, but another big name, Stephen Rolfe Powell, will be blowing glass at Duncan McClellan's hot shop.
A RARE VISIT: Dale Chihuly, glass superstar, is coming to St. Petersburg for a rare visit and even rarer public lecture on Saturday — and it's free. His one-hour talk at 1 p.m. at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort, 501 Fifth Ave. NE, is open to the first 500 people (that's how many the hotel's Palm Court Ballroom holds). Reservations aren't being taken, so it's first come, first in. The lecture will be followed at 2 p.m. by a signing of his latest book, Chihuly Silvered, which will be on sale for $60.
The event is in conjunction with a temporary exhibition of new work at the nearby Chihuly Collection, 400 Beach Drive NE, that opens Saturday and continues through June 30.
The Chihuly Collection, which is owned by the Morean Arts Center, is a museum-like gallery of permanent installations of the artist's most famous and dramatic work, which has made him internationally famous. The special exhibition will feature examples from Sealife Stoppers, vessels created using Venetian glass-blowing techniques to sculpt sea creatures.
Glass artist does demos: Stephen Rolfe Powell is another big name among studio glass lovers, and he, too, will be in St. Petersburg on Saturday, at Duncan McClellan's hot shop, 550 24th St. S, for a glass blowing demonstration at 6:30 p.m. He'll be there as part of a fundraiser for McClellan's DMG School Project, which provides educational experiences for high school art teachers and students. The evening also serves as opening night for a new show in the gallery featuring 42 glass portraits by New York glass artist Joseph Cavalieri, who uses an old stained-glass method of painting on glass to create collaged images with contemporary associations. Beer, wine and refreshments are available for a donation, but the event is free (all donations welcome, however).