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Green Icicle Tower Grows At MFA

The Museum of Fine Arts is getting into the St. Patrick's Day spirit with the installation of an enormous, bright green, sculpture by revolutionary glass artist Dale Chihuly.

Actually, it's just chance the assembly of Chihuly's Lime Green Icicle Tower falls on the holiday — but hey, why not draw the connection?

The sculpture is 42 feet tall, weighs 10,000 pounds, and is comprised of nearly 2,400 individual pieces of glass blown in the artist's Seattle studio.

Chihuly’s eye-popping creations can be found all over the world, in botanical gardens, museums and parks. They often evoke and engage with nature — multi-colored lily pads, tendrils, bulbous spheres — floating in space above us or on the surface of a pond or brook. The spiked, green tower at the MFA is being assembled in the museum's heavily-trafficked Shapiro Courtyard.

“It’s been a year and a half, two years in planning at least on my part," said Chihuly studio project manager Tom Lind, who's at the MFA this week, "making sure that this 42-foot tower out in the atrium doesn’t fall over, and we have enough glass and everything goes smoothly."

But Lind is not alone.

“It takes a large team of people, about 100 or so, to get this project here from Seattle to Boston,” he said, adding it required a semi-truck to hold and ship this one sculpture's many parts to the East Coast.

Five more 18-wheelers are on their way across the country, bringing the rest of Chihuly's glass sculptures for his "Through the Looking Glass" exhibition that opens at the MFA in April.

This program aired on March 17, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

Andrea Shea Twitter Senior Arts Reporter
Andrea Shea is WBUR's arts reporter.

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