Chihuly Collection Welcomes 50,000th Visitor

Downtown St. Pete museum reaches landmark in just five months

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

St. Pete/Clearwater, FL (December 8, 2010) - Having already welcomed patrons from nearly all 50 states and more than 40 countries in just five months, the Chihuly Collection presented by the Morean Arts Center received its 50,000th visitor Tuesday. 

The downtown St. Pete space solely dedicated to showcasing the work of legendary glass artist Dale Chihuly has been a smash hit since opening its doors at 400 Beach Drive in July. 

Ironically enough, it was a local---St. Pete resident Ron Menezes---responsible for the landmark ticket purchase that propelled the Collection to the 50,000 mark. On Tuesday, Menezes was honored with a small ceremony and given a framed print of Chihuly's "Sunny Baskets"---a piece created specifically for St. Petersburg---and two annual passes to the Chihuly Collection, the Hot Shop and the Morean Galleries. 

"We are thrilled to have reached this milestone so quickly," said Katee Tully, Executive Director of the Morean Arts Center. "It is a strong indication of the appeal of Dale's art and the incredible facility designed by Albert Alfonso."

To watch a brief video interview with Menezes, visit 

In just over a month, downtown St. Pete will celebrate another momentous occasion with the opening of the new Dali­ Museum on 1-11-11.

Much like Dali's work, the building itself will be visually iconic, with a geodesic glass structure enclosing the foyer, a grand "double-helix" staircase in the building's center and an outlook to the east with magnificent, palm-flanked views of yachts moored in Florida's largest municipal marina with Tampa Bay in the distance.

The new Dali will further enrich the visitor's experience by more than doubling the size of the current museum and adding 50 percent more gallery space, both for visiting exhibitions and for the permanent Dali collection, which is comprised of more than 2,100 pieces, including 96 oil paintings. 

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater is the destination marketing organization for Pinellas County, Florida. 

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For more information:
Contact: Public Relations Manager Josh Hall:
Phone: 727.464.7223

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