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Paradise City: Sue Graef + Benjamin Elliott

Architecture and interior design have been crucial to Dale Chihuly’s work since the beginning of his career. His massive, site-specific installations are always created with the surrounding space in mind: think of Chihuly Over Venice, his ambitious project in which fourteen chandeliers were suspended over the canals and piazzas of that famous city. Then there was his 2000 project Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem, when he transformed the Tower of David Citadel with his colorful installations. A sense of place, whether it’s an urban setting, a museum, or a garden, is pivotal to how one views Chihuly’s work.

In a nod to his high view of the city and the importance of “place,” the Chihuly Collection presents Paradise City, a two-person exhibition that celebrates urban space, both directly and conceptually.

Sue Graef, a resident of Clearwater, FL, combines vibrant colors and bold compositions to bring her painted cityscapes to life. Featured here are cities in which she has lived and/or frequented: Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, Miami, Sarasota, Tampa. Each canvas brims with joy and a sense of wonder; familiar scenes spring to life, reminding us of the energy, light and beauty of urban settings.

Morean resident glass blower Benjamin Elliott creates solid-colored vessels using deceptively simple forms. Placed together in a group, his work brings to mind a city skyline. A resident of the Tampa Bay area, Benjamin currently teaches beginning and intermediate glass-blowing, and visitors can catch him demonstrating his techniques at the Morean Glass Studio.