Greenville’s Falls Park is going to become home to a new public sculpture by world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly.
Installation of the sculpture entitled “Rose Crystal Tower” will begin Tuesday at Harriet’s Garden in Falls Park, located behind West End Market. A dedication ceremony is scheduled for Oct. 6.
The sculpture was commissioned by the Wyche Sculpture Committee and will honor Harriet Wyche, whom the garden is named for and who was a lifelong Greenville resident who was instrumental in the founding and development of Falls Park. Wyche, who died in 2011, was married to longtime Greenville attorney and environmental champion Tommy Wyche, who died in January.
The sculpture will attract visitors and enhance the city’s diverse collection of public art, said Tracy Ramseur, Greenville’s development coordinator and staff liaison to the Arts in Public Places Commission.
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“Dale Chihuly is an internationally known artist, and having one of his pieces will certainly put Greenville on the map in the public art world,” Ramseur said.
Chihuly, has a studio based in the state of Washington and has spent his nearly 50 year career turning avante-garde glass work into a fine art.
Sculptor Dale Chihuly creates glass artworks, such as this one in his "Mille Fiori" series. (Photo: Photo: AP Photo/Stew Milne)
His work has been installed in more than 200 museum collections and he has created more than a dozen celebrated series of works across the globe, including a solo exhibit in The Louvre in Paris in 1986 and a series of sculptures that hang over the canals of Venice, Italy.
Some of his more recent work has been installed in botanical gardens in Chicago, London, San Francisco, Boston, Montreal and Seattle.
According to the city, this sculpture will be made of “rose-colored Polyvitro, a material that Chihuly Studio creates by casting a special formula of polymer resins and dyes using molds formed from large “chunks” of glass. The Polyvitro elements are crystal-like in shape, and individual masses are attached to a central armature of powder‐coated, exterior‐grade stainless steel to create a tower that is over eight feet tall. The tower will be installed on a precast concrete base designed to match the benches in Harriet’s Garden.”
The committee, made up of friends and relatives of Harriett Wyche, secured the majority of the funding for the purchase and installation of the sculpture, and worked with Greenville to obtain approval from the Falls Park Sculpture Committee, Arts in Public Places Commission and the Design Review Board for its design and location.
Upon installation, the sculpture will be donated to the city, which provided a portion of the funding.
Installation will take place from Tuesday through Thursday. The sculpture will be unveiled at 5:30 p.m., Oct. 6 at a dedication ceremony.
Speakers at the ceremony will include Greenville Mayor Knox White; Brad Wyche, son of Harriet Wyche and founder of Upstate Forever; Anna Kate Hipp, former president of the Carolina Foothills Garden Club and co-chair of the Falls Park Endowment; Paul Ellis, former City of Greenville Parks & Recreation Department director; and Ed Zeigler, chair of the City’s Arts in Public Places Commission and principal, president and CEO of Craig Gaulden Davis Architects, which was part of the design team for the area of Falls Park where the sculpture will be located.