Maker’s Mark Distillery in Loretto is hosting an exhibit of Dale Chihuly glass artworks, and beginning Saturday and running through October you can take a night tour of the distillery grounds to see seven dramatic, large-scale glass installations.
“Just as my grandparents, the founders of Maker’s Mark, first envisioned, we’re committed to enhancing our visitor experience with culturally immersive opportunities unlike any other distillery in the world,” Rob Samuels, COO of the bourbon brand, which is now owned by Suntory, said in a news release. “Creating our handmade bourbon isn’t a job — it’s an art form. It’s an honor to have formed such a lasting relationship with world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly.”
Two of the works in the “Chihuly at Maker’s” exhibit are in the distillery’s visitors center and cellar, with four displayed outdoor on the grounds. You also can see Maker’s Mark’s ceiling installation, “The Spirit of the Maker,” which debuted in 2014.
The new works were installed over nine days in June. Several were created specifically for the distillery site, including “Crimson and Chestnut Fiori Boat,” “Amber and New Oak Chandelier,” and “Sapphire and Platinum Waterdrop Tower.”
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The Chihuly chandelier has hundreds of individual pieces of glass arranged on a steel armature and externally lit. An 18-foot-wide wooden boat has an array of whimsical, nature-inspired shapes nicknamed herons, seal pups, goosenecks, hornets, onions and birch reeds arranged inside.. The waterdrop tower, near a natural spring, stands 12 feet tall, with blue glass arranged on a steel tower.
Another work, “Red Reeds,” features elongated tubes arranged in the ground; “Summer Sun,” with more than 1,600 red, orange and yellow glass twirls, ties in with the signature red wax and red shutters of Maker’s Mark.
Inside is “Red Baskets,” an array of classic Chihuly forms that were inspired by native Northwest Coast baskets that he began creating in 1977.
Chihuly, who visited the distillery in 2014, said in the release that he was inspired by the unique landscape and architecture of Maker’s. Other installations are currently featured at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark., the New York Botanical Garden and the Catalina Island Museum in Avalon, Calif.
If you go
From 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. July 1, the “Chihuly at Maker’s” exhibit kicks off with a night tour featuring live music, Maker’s Mark cocktails and tastings and dinner from chef Newman Miller of Star Hill Provisions. Tickets are $50, $35 for ages 12 and younger; buy online at Makersmark.com/chihuly.
This limited-run special exhibition will be on display through October for a self-guided tour through the grounds. Daytime tours are $12 per person.
Special Chihuly Nights are planned every Saturday, from 6-10 p.m. July 22-Oct. 7, for $20. Dinner events also are available for $100 per person.
For more information, call 270-865-2099.