Maker’s Mark Temporarily Adds New Chihuly Glass Exhibit

Visitors to Kentucky’s Makers Mark distillery, however they get there, find one of the highlights of their visit to be a beautiful glass art exhibit created by noted artist Dale Chihuly inside a barrel house. It is a permanent installation, and for the next few months will be joined by some additional pieces for a temporary, site-specific exhibition known as “Chihuly at Maker’s.”

Chihuly at Maker’s is comprised of six large-scale art installations sited throughout the distillery grounds. Included in the exhibition is: 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.

maker's mark Chihuly

image via Maker’s Mark

Alongside these two is also 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 armature for dramatic effect. For centuries, blown glass pieces were small, intricately designed and admired from atop a table. In contrast, Chihuly’s Towers 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 specifically 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, in a prepared statement. “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.”

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Plans call for this exhibit to run July through October. One can see it either as part of the regular Maker’s Mark tour, or during special after dark viewing opportunities on Saturdays over the course of it being on display.


Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...