Jack Cooney, a volunteer worker
who helped with the installation of Dale Chihuly’s DNA
Tower in the atrium of the Van Nuys Medical Science
Building on the Indianapolis campus last month, carefully
carries two glass globes to the armature to which they
were appended. The glass pieces and steel armature were
fabricated in the Seattle studios of the famous glass
artist and assembled prior to the Sept. 30 dedication
ceremony for the nearby Research II facility.
Susan Darling, a glass blower
from Indianapolis, was a volunteer during the Chihuly
installation process. Here she photographs individual
pieces, some 1,200 in all. North Carolina sand (or silica)
was turned to molten glass at the Chihuly hot shop,
located in a boathouse on the shores of Lake Union,
not far from downtown Seattle. It was there, too, that
teams of master glass artists, in an orchestrated process
of blowing, shaping, folding and adding color to emerging
pieces, worked for months on the pieces that would eventually
"morph" into a public artwork in Indianapolis.
Faculty, staff, students and
members of the community gathered in the atrium of the
Van Nuys Medical Science Building on the IUPUI campus
Sept. 30 prior to the formal dedication of the nearby
Research II facility.
Faculty, staff and students wait
to take a place for the dedication ceremony for Research
II facility. The ceremony was held in the Van Nuys Medical
Science Building to accommodate more guests.
Emily Rome, a member of the IU
String Quartet, played a viola solo during the ceremony.
To define the twists of
the helix and the four bases, Chihuly used several different
colored glass-shaped forms to help express the overall
shape and design of the DNA Tower. Emerging glass
pieces are reheated in what is called "the glory hole"
during the blowing process; a finished piece is then
cooled in annealing ovens at the artist’s studios in
Seattle. Color rods that provide the "frits," or coarsely
ground colored glass that adds the color to each piece,
comes from manufacturers in Germany and New Zealand.
The installation is a departure from Chihuly’s previous
work, in that the molecule’s double helical form was
a necessary "ladder" for the representational glass
pieces that envelop it.
The platform party in academic
regalia recesses after the Research II dedication ceremony.
The Chihuly DNA Tower is seen is seen in the