Back in the '70s when I was a student at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) we had some teachers who were top talents in their fields such as photographers Aaron Siskind and Harry Callahan and glass artist Dale Chihuly.
I first saw Dale's work in a copy of Craft Horizons from around 1971 that my brother had received one month as part of his subscription. I was really taken by these collaborative pieces made with fellow glass artist Jamie Carpenter. The glass was solid white and looked like milk spilling in suspended animation!
During my four years there I was never able to glass blowing as an elective due to huge popularity of the classes, but I had a few graphics classmates who had. On a daily basis I would walk past the glass department on my way through the large studio building called Metcalf.
Dale's orange colored Saab sedan was one of the most recognizable faculty cars on campus.
During my junior year my classmate and very close friend, Joanie, would become the personal graphics person for Dale and as a result I saw more of what was going on with Dale Chihuly and the glass program at RISD and out in the Seattle area where he had the Pilchuck School for glassblowing.
Below are a few objects from those earlier years. I have additional posters which were all designed by my friend Joanie, but could not locate them for this post today.
Those of us at RISD knew Dale was one of the top glass artists in the world but no one predicted how a few decades later he would become so fabulously famous. When I say I could write a post each day about Dale, I am saying there is such a body of work of his that it would take many, many posts to cover it all.
Below is a 1983 poster designed in by my friend and classmate, Casey. I have photographed the two posters outdoors to emphasize Dale's use of organic forms in his work.
Detail of the above poster:
Below is a 1978 poster designed by my graphics teacher, Malcolm Grear, who also designed the Chihuly Glass book from that period. Dale's work was being exhibited at The Renwick Gallery and this was the poster for that exhibit.
A shot of Dale from the '75-'76 yearbook which had photos of the faculty dressed in caps and gowns for the induction of the new school president, Lee Hall.
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