Let there be colorful light — It's a place at Naples Museum of Art few people have seen: Nine feet up, looking down on glass artist Dale Chihuly's awesome Persian Ceiling. Blake Millard, the preparator at the museum, climbs up there a couple of times a year to change the lightbulbs. He lays carefully on two thin metal planks, specially made to fit above the more than 600 components of Chihuly glass in the permanent installation, which was added to the museum collection in October of 2001. Changing the lights is important, he says, because the illumination lets viewers below appreciate the magnificence of the glass. 'It's dull without the lights,' he says. The walkway under the ceiling is 'like any other hallway when the lights are off,' he says, because the unlit glass is difficult to see. But when the lights go on, a visitor can experience the vibrant, glass-covered ceiling, which bathes the space below in colorful light bouncing off the glass pieces and the walls. Millard describes it as like being in a 'kaleidoscope pool.' Maintenance on the Chihuly glass is simpler now for Millard and others at the museum. 'It's a zillion times easier now than it used to be,' he says. The job used to include several hours of work taking off and replacing invisible panels in the walls, in addition to changing out the lights. 'It would take us the better part of a week to change them all. Now it takes only about five hours,' says Bill Teague, an art handler at the museum who helped Millard finish the job there last week. Now there are hinged panels that open relatively easily. The Naples Museum of Art is located at 5833 Pelican Bay Blvd. in Naples. Hours from now until the end of June: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays-Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays. The museum is closed Mondays. Admision is $8 for adults, $4 for students. Additional charges may apply for some exhibitions. Published October 9, 2006

Photo by Tracy Boulian, Daily News

Let there be colorful light — It's a place at Naples Museum of Art few people have seen: Nine feet up, looking down on glass artist Dale Chihuly's awesome Persian Ceiling. Blake Millard, the preparator at the museum, climbs up there a couple of times a year to change the lightbulbs. He lays carefully on two thin metal planks, specially made to fit above the more than 600 components of Chihuly glass in the permanent installation, which was added to the museum collection in October of 2001. Changing the lights is important, he says, because the illumination lets viewers below appreciate the magnificence of the glass. "It's dull without the lights," he says. The walkway under the ceiling is "like any other hallway when the lights are off," he says, because the unlit glass is difficult to see. But when the lights go on, a visitor can experience the vibrant, glass-covered ceiling, which bathes the space below in colorful light bouncing off the glass pieces and the walls. Millard describes it as like being in a "kaleidoscope pool." Maintenance on the Chihuly glass is simpler now for Millard and others at the museum. "It's a zillion times easier now than it used to be," he says. The job used to include several hours of work taking off and replacing invisible panels in the walls, in addition to changing out the lights. "It would take us the better part of a week to change them all. Now it takes only about five hours," says Bill Teague, an art handler at the museum who helped Millard finish the job there last week. Now there are hinged panels that open relatively easily. The Naples Museum of Art is located at 5833 Pelican Bay Blvd. in Naples. Hours from now until the end of June: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays-Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays. The museum is closed Mondays. Admision is $8 for adults, $4 for students. Additional charges may apply for some exhibitions. Published October 9, 2006

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