Two iconic Americans join forces once again to craft an experience that catches the imagination while dazzling the senses. Proudly celebrating the work of world-famous artist Dale Chihuly, Maker’s Mark®, the pioneer of premium bourbon, Chihuly at Maker’s will be unveiled from 1 July through 31 October 2017.
Temporarily exhibited at Burke House Welcome Center, the exhibit is inspired by the distillery’s command of light and lush surrounding campgrounds. The site-specific exhibition is the second installation commissioned for Maker’s Mark by Chihuly.
The Spirit of the Maker, his first notable permanent installation, was a celebratory tribute to Maker’s tradition of bourbon making in Kentucky with the unveiling taking place in 2014. “I had the privilege to visit the landmark Maker’s Mark Distillery in 2014 when we worked together to install The Spirit of the Maker,” said artist Dale Chihuly. “I was inspired then by its unique landscape and architecture and am excited to share my work from the perspective of its special surroundings.”
Chihuly at Maker’s encompasses six large-scale art installations sited throughout the distillery grounds. The Maker’s Mark Distillery will be altered by Chihuly’s dramatic works of art decisively set throughout the historic landmark campus to complement the distillery’s landscape and architecture.
The exhibition includes Summer Sun, a 12-foot tall blown glass and steel sculpture; a collection of five fiery-red Baskets; and an 18-foot wide Crimson and Chestnut Fiori Boat, which combines a range of forms massed together in a traditional wooden boat. The Sapphire and Platinum Waterdrop Tower, which stands at approximately 12-feet, is a classic demonstration of Chihuly’s desire to mass color on a steel framework for dramatic effect. For hundreds of years, blown glass pieces were small, intricately designed and admired from atop a table.
The stark contrast is evident in Chihuly’s Towers that seem to rise from the ground like huge stalagmites and have been an iconic aesthetic of installations in art museums and botanical gardens worldwide. Like all Chihuly sculptures, the Sapphire and Platinum Waterdrop Tower was designed explicitly for its location, in this case, in front of the distillery’s cellar and natural water source. “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,” said Rob Samuels, the eighth-generation whisky maker and Chief Operating Officer of Maker’s Mark. “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.” Chihuly at Maker’s is one of several site-specific installations from Chihuly that have been featured at high-profile locations around the country, including recent exhibits at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the New York Botanical Garden and the Catalina Island Museum in Avalon, California.