Advertisement
  1. Visual Arts

St. Petersburg's Dale Chihuly Collection moving to larger space on Central Avenue

A rendering of new location of the Chihuly Collection, which is moving from 400 Beach Drive to the 700 block of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg. [Rendering by CSJM Architects]
Published Oct. 20, 2015

ST. PETERSBURG — We have heard the buzz for months about a move for the Chihuly Collection.

Now, it's official: The museum-like gallery of works by superstar glass artist Dale Chihuly plans to move from its 400 Beach Drive NE location to the 700 block of Central Avenue, across the street from the Morean Arts Center, which owns the collection. The anticipated date for the opening is fall 2016.

A news conference is scheduled at 2 p.m. today at the Morean, 722 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, for the official announcement.

"This is a positive step for the Chihuly and the Morean," said Andy Schlauch, executive director of the Chihuly Collection. "It helps create a more unified campus (closer to the Morean's hot shop, for example) and increase traffic. The parking will be easier, much easier for the tour buses. And we'll be part of the redevelopment of the Central Avenue area."

The new space will occupy 11,000 square feet of the first floor of a building under construction that also will house a Publix supermarket and three upper decks of parking.

The Chihuly Collection's current home has 9,800 square feet. It contains all of the artist's signature works: Chandeliers, Mille Fiore, Persian Ceiling and Float Boat, installations with hundreds of individual components, plus more individual sculptures and vessels. They're arranged in a beautiful space designed by Tampa architect Albert Alphonso to enhance the glass. The large sculpture of pink cubes, known to locals as "rock candy," marks the entrance on Beach Drive and will continue to do so on Central Avenue.

All the art will be part of the new location "and we're repurposing as much as we can with the galleries," Schlauch said. "We'll have more inside space, 11,000 square feet plus 4,000 square feet of outdoor space that we can use for events — weddings and parties."

The Chihuly Collection will pay about the same monthly rent, which currently is about $30,000, a discount compared to other commercial space on Beach Drive, Schlauch said. Admission rates are expected to remain the same.

"We have been happy to have had them for five years," said John Hamilton Jr. of the Hamilton Partnership, the family group that owns the Beach Drive space. "We don't really know yet what we're looking for. What do I put there that's comparable to Chihuly when Chihuly is pretty much incomparable?"

Hamilton said it could be divided into up to four separate spaces. "We'd like to keep it local," he said. "There's time; it's a year away, and I have no doubt we can bring something that's good for the city."

Schlauch said the gift store will be part of the new location and the theater, which was eliminated to make room for larger store space, will return. There will still be space dedicated to changing exhibitions by other glass artists.

The Chihuly Collection will be closed beginning in late summer for about six weeks, "our slowest time of year," he said, before a grand reopening.

"The city's very fortunate to have it (the Chihuly Collection) even if we won't," Hamilton said. "I'm fine with replacing them, but we'll miss them."

Contact Lennie Bennett at lbennett@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8293.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Visitor Sara Crigger of Nashville views the Dali masterwork painting "The Hallucinogenic Toreador" (1969-1970) this month with the aid of the Dali app on her smartphone. "Using this is like holding an art history class in your hand," Crigger said. The "Visual Magic: Masterworks in Augmented Reality" exhibit runs through Nov. 3 at the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg. SCOTT KEELER  |   Times
    With augmented reality, 19th century prints, bronzes and food photography, a well-rounded experience awaits.
  2. Tampa Museum of Art features this work and others on display as part of the exhibition "Purvis Young: 91." Courtesy of  Philip LaDeau
    Free Museum Day is here, plus there’s a new show at Mize Gallery and Creative Pinellas showcases emerging artists.
  3. Patrons hit the dance floor at Tampa venue Skipper's Smokehouse in 2015. LUIS SANTANA  |  Tampa Bay Times (2015)
    A 12-hour party in the Skipperdome, stargazing and a family-friendly Williams Park festival provide free and cheap entertainment.
  4. Mural on the side of the Amsterdam Bar, Central Avenue, St. Petersburg. “SHINE.” The wall was completed with the help of students from the Bloom Gallery. SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The roster for October’s festival includes a mix of international, national and local artists
  5. St. Petersburg based Ink Werkz Crew created this mural at 1610 Central Avenue for the first SHINE mural festival. Painted in late 2015, a Chase Bank branch was built on the parking lot in front of it in 2018. The artists Reid Jenkins, Scott Hillis and Sovoth Chan were never told that it would be covered. Jenkins found out from his then five-year-old daughter. SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    As the city grows and empty lots become fewer, murals of the recent past risk being hidden from view.
  6. Jean-Michel Basquiat (American, 1960-1988), Untitled (Word on Wood), 1985. Acrylic and oil stick on wood fence slats. 90 x 72 inches. Private collection. Photographer: Jeremy Scott. © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York. Courtesy of Jeremy Scott
    Here’s how to get free admission and discounts at nearly 20 local institutions.
  7. "Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle," the new light projection show at Universal Orlando, will open this weekend, running on select nights through Nov. 15. Universal Orlando
    Death Eaters, Voldemort and other creepy creatures from the world of Harry Potter star in the nighttime display.
  8. "Untitled (Word on Wood)" by Jean-Michel Basquiat. The piece is one of the iconic artist's masterpieces on display at Tampa Museum of Art. Courtesy of Jeremy Scott
    In addition to two masterworks from Jean-Michel Basquiat, TMA also opens exhibitions of Haitian flags and works by artist Purvis Young.
  9. From left: Tim Curry as Frank N. Furter, Barry Bostwick as Brad Majors and Susan Sarandon as Janet Weiss in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." 20th Century Fox
    The popular ‘Last Podcast on the Left’ and Barry Bostwick from ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ are new to A Nightmare on Franklin Street.
  10. Disney's Aladdin comes to the Straz Center for the Performing Arts as part of the 2019-2020 Broadway series. Courtesy of Deen van Meer.
    From augmented reality at the Dalí to a boatload of Beethoven at the Florida Orchestra, it’s shaping up as another busy season in the arts.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement