Press Release

Columbia Museum of Art Announces Completion of Dale Chihuly Installation
Contemporaries’ Art Acquisition Fund project marks accomplishment five years in the making

COLUMBIA, S.C. - The Contemporaries of the Columbia Museum of Art today announce the completed installation of the Dale Chihuly art acquisition chandelier in the museum’s David Wallace Robinson, Jr. Atrium. The installation marks the first of its kind in the state and measures 14’ tall, 5’ wide and 11’ deep. The design was chosen to enhance the asymmetrical design of the museum’s atrium space and a “Carolina Sunset” color-scheme will incorporate Columbia’s “Famously Hot” shades of golds, oranges and reds. The public celebration of the installation will be held in conjunction with this year’s Museum gala, Red Hot…Cool! 60 Years of Color on Saturday, April 17.

The completion of this installation also marks the success of a public-fundraising campaign by which the Contemporaries raised over $360,000 through private donations and fundraising events – led entirely by the young professional affiliate group of the museum with the generous support and guidance of a team of community mentors, the Board of the Museum of Art and the staff of the museum. The fundraising total covers the cost of the acquisition, long-term maintenance of the piece, educational support, lighting and a documentary video.

“This project represents a commitment by our organization to the museum and to the community as a whole. We understand that we are the first young-professional organization in the nation to undertake the commissioning of a project of this magnitude. Our hope is that through this project we will begin to foster and cultivate a new generation of philanthropy in Columbia and beyond,” said Ryan Hyler, the organization’s president.

The commission is a significant work by the internationally renowned artist, Dale Chihuly of Washington State. Chihuly installations are found in numerous museums and private collections around the world, including: The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, The Seattle Museum of Art, The de Young in San Francisco, and the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Nevada. Dale Chihuly’s expertise in glass-blowing has transformed the medium and his works are recognized by the organically inspired shapes and bold colors of his design.

For more information on the Art Acquisition Fund, on volunteering with the Contemporaries, or on the Artist, Dale
Chihuly, please contact Maryanne Belser at 803.730.3757 or


The Contemporaries of the Columbia Museum of Art are comprised of an active membership of over 400 young professionals from the Columbia area. The mission of the Contemporaries is to provide an opportunity to support
the Museum through: promoting the Museum and its programs, diversifying the Museum's membership, and leading
the next generation of Museum supporters.


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