Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine

Constructing the Chihuly Chandelier

 

 

Designed by renowned artist Dale Chihuly, the Tre Stelle di Lapislazzuli Chandelier is an impressive presence in the atrium of the Lorry I. Lokey Stem Cell Research Building, weighing more than two tons and made up of 2,071 individually blown pieces of glass.

Artist Dale Chihuly created the magnificent chandelier after learning about the stem cell building project from Sue McCollum, founder of My Blue Dots, a nonprofit organization that gifted the chandelier to the medical school. My Blue Dots takes its name from the blue tattoos that guide radiation therapy. Founded by McCollum after her own struggle with breast cancer, My Blue Dots supports both scientific research and artwork to serve as inspiration for healing, hope, and health for cancer patients and their families.

Planning for the chandelier began to come together as construction was just beginning on the Lokey Stem Cell Research Building in 2008. At the urging of Sue McCollum and Irving Weissman, MD, director of the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine and the Virginia and the D. K. Ludwig Professor for Clinical Investigation in Cancer Research, Chihuly agreed to create a large, glass artwork for the new building. As the artistís plans solidified, the ceiling of the atrium underwent a slight redesign and reinforcement to hold the enormous, glass chandelier. The chandelier was assembled over a two-week period in August and early September 2010 as the building was nearing completion.

 

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