Glass whimsy abounds on an impressive scale at the Chihuly Collection, located in the 700 block of Central Avenue in downtown St. Pete. This gallery presents a breathtaking permanent collection of Dale Chihuly, regarded as a pioneer in the studio glass movement. Guests are greeted by a 20-foot sculpture created just for the site, and in fact, the entire building is designed specifically to highlight his glass art.
Marvel at fantastical creations and towering installations that range from sea creatures and tumbleweeds to gardens of glass and surreal seascapes. Don’t forget to look up – the stunning ceiling of glass shouldn’t be missed. Though not timed, tickets must be purchased in advance. Top Tip: Tickets include admission to the nearby Morean Glass Studio.
Just across the street from the Chihuly Collection, the Morean Glass Studio offers the opportunity to watch resident glass artists hard at work in the hot shop (it’s appropriately named!). Learn about the centuries-old craft as they melt the glass in the furnace, blow and shape the molten glass and then carefully cool it in the kiln – all while blasting high-energy music.
The biggest draw at Morean? The year-round classes, where experts teach locals and visitors the art of glassblowing and flameworking. The classes are aimed at all ages and skill levels, from one-time classes to more advanced weeks-long sessions and seasonal classes for making glass art like pumpkins and holiday ornaments. Top Tip: All the artist residents’ one-of-a-kind art glass pieces, including decorative bowls, vases, jewelry and more, are for sale in the adjacent glass shop.