Jellies: Living Art

Want to know more about these free-flowing life forms from the deep? Read on to get good answers to frequently asked questions about jellies.



Hunter Museum of American Art

At the nearby Hunter Museum of American Art, Jellies: Living Art will be enhanced and extended by the glass art in the Hunter’s galleries.





Dale Chihuly

Dale Chihuly
b. 1941 Tacoma, Wash.

Dale Chihuly is best known for his large-scale, multipart glass pieces. Originally an interior design and architecture student in the 1960s, Chihuly began studying the art of glassblowing at the University of Wisconsin. He was then admitted to the Rhode Island School of Art, where he eventually established and taught in its glass program. In 1971, Chihuly co-founded the Pilchuck School in Stanwood, Wash.

Chihuly’s “Macchia” series, a large collection of unusually-shaped bowls that the artist says remind him of the deep sea, will be on display with the jellies at the Tennessee Aquarium. Taking note that the colors of stained glass windows look more vibrant with a foggy backdrop, Chihuly uses a layer of white glass to make the colors of his “Macchia” bowls maintain their vibrancy.


The artist’s “Laguna Murano” chandelier, which will be exhibited at the Hunter Museum, takes up approximately 1,500 square feet and is one of Chihuly’s fascinating installation pieces. The chandelier, with its unique presentation of a lagoon swarming with mythical sea creatures and aquatic vegetation, explores the similarities between the line and form of blown glass and natural settings.


Chihuly lost sight in one eye in a car accident and no longer possesses the depth perception necessary to work directly with molten glass. Instead, he conceptualizes the works and leads a team of glass artists to execute his intricate designs.


Chihuly’s work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; and the Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, Tenn., among many others. He lives in Washington State.


To learn more about his work, visit


Stephen Powell

Stephen Rolfe Powell
b. 1951 Birmingham, Ala.

The color in Stephen Rolfe Powell’s glass pieces has been compared to that of watercolor paintings. With a background in ceramics from Louisiana State University, Powell began to experiment with glass in his spare time at various crafts schools and through internships. Inspired by artist Richard Marquis’s work with murrini, a glass substance used to add color, Powell began his work with a focus on color and the manipulation of transparency and opacity.


Powell creates vessels with long, thin necks and very rounded bottoms. Rather than forcing the glass into very specific shapes, Powell allows gravity to morph his pieces. Allowing the glass to stretch itself causes Powell to have a failure rate of about 80 percent. Pieces that actually survive this strenuous stretching process have a retro, tie-dye look. Purples, reds and yellows are dominant his works.


Powell’s work is in the collections of the Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, Ala.; the Hillman Collection, Portland, Ore.; and the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio, among many others. He lives and works in Danville, Ky.


To learn more about his work, visit


Cork Marcheschi

Cork Marcheschi
b. 1945 San Mateo, Ca.

Cork Marcheschi, both a visual artist and a musician, states that his work “is about energy, light and humor.” His pieces are brightly colored and glow or light up, commanding attention from viewers. Light bulbs, paint and neon and halogen tubes are just a few of the items that frequently appear in Marcheschi’s works.


Also a proponent of public art, Marcheschi’s public works are found all over the world and in varying climates, from the hot and steamy to the frigid and frozen. These extreme variations in climate provide a challenge for the artist and require him to tailor each of his pieces to the climate of its future home.


Marcheschi’s work is found in the Heitz Collection, Los Angeles; the Taylor Collection, San Francisco; the Morton Newmann Collection, Chicago and the Hunter Museum, among others.


To view some of Marcheschi’s pieces, visit


Thomas Spake
Thomas Spake
b. 1973 Chattanooga, Tenn.

Chattanooga artist Thomas Spake never considered a career in visual arts until entering the glassblowing studio at Center College in Danville, Ky. After graduation, Spake became the Glass Artist in Residence at the Appalachian Center for Crafts. He later became the Manager and Head Glassblower for the River Gallery Glass Studio in Chattanooga.

Spake uses glass to explore the similarities between earth, air and sea. His works range from small-scale ornaments to large-scale outdoor sculpture.

Spake’s works can be found in the collections of the Tennessee State Museum, Nashville; the Siskin Foundation, Chattanooga; and Joseph Descosimo and Co. He lives and works in Chattanooga.


To view some of Spake’s pieces, visit