Tacoma Shares the Spotlight with Florence, Paris, and New York City

Cone newsletter

Forbes Travel Guide has listed the City of Destiny as one of the top places in the world to see and experience art alongside cities such as Santa Fe, Bangkok, Florence, Paris, and New York City. It’s no secret that Tacoma has a plethora of quality museums, and Museum of Glass is proud to be part of this cultural community.

“Dale Chihuly fans should make the trip to the distinctive stainless-steel dome that houses Tacoma’s Museum of Glass. Don’t miss the Chihuly Bridge of Glass, a 500-foot steel-and-glass pedestrian bridge with installations that leads from the MOG’s rooftop to the downtown museum district.”

Read the entire Forbes Travel Guide article here.

Photo courtesy of Museum of Glass.

Glassorama: Environments for Kids Design Glass Too

By Katie Phelps, Curatorial Assistant/Visiting Artist Coordinator

In celebration of Kids Design Glass Too (open at Museum of Glass through July 12, 2015), we partnered with five local high schools to continue the original spirit of the Kids Design Glass program – celebrating the creativity and artistic abilities of young artists.

We received 28 project proposals from students at Federal Way High School, Lincoln High School, Tacoma School of the Arts, Thomas Jefferson High School and Wilson High School. Five of these proposals were selected by MOG curatorial staff to be made into full-scale dioramas for the exhibition.

Our five teams recently sent us some progress photos, and it looks like they are making amazing progress:

Federal Way High School:

Kids Design Glass piece: Hamburger Cowboy (James Barr, age 7)

Diorama Title: Hamburger Cowboy – The Good, the Bad and the Meaty

This diorama is set in the town of Greasy Gulch, where Hamburger Cowboy and his sheriff Frank Furt defend the saloon from some seriously evil extraterrestrial veggies

This diorama is set in the town of Greasy Gulch, where Hamburger Cowboy and his sheriff Frank Furt defend the saloon from some seriously evil extraterrestrial veggies.

 A close-up of one of the aliens threatening the peace of Greasy Gulch

A close-up of one of the aliens threatening the peace of Greasy Gulch.

Lincoln High School:

Kids Design Glass piece: Blinky the Crab (Calvin Christoph, age 10)

Diorama Title: Blinky the Crab

The diorama (represented here by a scale drawing) will feature the “scene of the crime” from Blinky the Crab’s original artist statement – the fridge where Blinky consumes the radioactive donut.

The diorama (represented here by a scale drawing) will feature the “scene of the crime” from Blinky the Crab’s original artist statement – the fridge where Blinky consumes the radioactive donut.

Students  Belen Contreras, Angel Zuniga and Jorge Zuniga from Lincoln High School are developing new skills in sewing and textiles to make parts of their diorama.

Students Belen Contreras, Angel Zuniga and Jorge Zuniga from Lincoln High School are developing new skills in sewing and textiles to make parts of their diorama.

Tacoma School of the Arts:

Kids Design Glass piece: Girls Night!!! (Madeline Teddy, age 10)

Diorama Title: Girls Night!!! This dolphin is ready for a girls night out!

Student Emma Jury is designing an underwater city, including the Dancing Bowl, where renowned underwater fashion designer Penelope the dolphin spends many evenings out dancing with the girls.

Student Emma Jury is designing an underwater city, including the Dancing Bowl, where renowned underwater fashion designer Penelope the dolphin spends many evenings out dancing with the girls.

SOTA students work on constructing buildings for their diorama.

SOTA students work on constructing buildings for their diorama.

Thomas Jefferson High School:

Kids Design Glass piece: Dino Guy (Mia Perfetti, age 7)

Diorama title: The Phantom of Katy’s Candy Store

A mockup of the diorama from Thomas Jefferson High School. It features Dino Guy as the Phantom, a character who lives underground in the sewer system and comes up at night to raid the candy store.

A mockup of the diorama from Thomas Jefferson High School. It features Dino Guy as the Phantom, a character who lives underground in the sewer system and comes up at night to raid the candy store.

Students at Thomas Jefferson High School have successfully finished building the wood frame for their diorama. They are using a foam replica of Dino Guy to make sure they are building everything to scale.

Students at Thomas Jefferson High School have successfully finished building the wood frame for their diorama. They are using a foam replica of Dino Guy to make sure they are building everything to scale.

Wilson High School:

Kids Design Glass piece: Sockness Monster (Hannah Wilson, age 11)

Diorama title: Welcome to my Crib!

Since Wilson High School has a Hot Shop, their team is working on hot-sculpting several elements for their diorama. Students Jonah Ellestad, Cordell Corbin and instructor Tony Sorgenfrei are seen here working on a hot-sculpted couch.

Since Wilson High School has a Hot Shop, their team is working on hot-sculpting several elements for their diorama. Students Jonah Ellestad, Cordell Corbin and instructor Tony Sorgenfrei are seen here working on a hot-sculpted couch.

Students from Tacoma’s Wilson High School are recreating the washing machine home of the Sockness Monster, partly inspired  by the swampy home of Scotland’s infamous Lochness Monster. This sketch details some of the components of the diorama.

Students from Tacoma’s Wilson High School are recreating the washing machine home of the Sockness Monster, partly inspired by the swampy home of Scotland’s infamous Lochness Monster. This sketch details some of the components of the diorama.

These dioramas will be installed and on view at Museum of Glass April 22, 2015. Come check them out!

Red Hot Gala’s 2014 People’s Choice Award Winner Ethan Stern Comes to Museum of Glass

Last September, Seattle-based artist Ethan Stern received the People’s Choice Award at the annual Museum of Glass Red Hot Auction and Gala. Stern won for his piece Verdant Sea, and was  offered a 2015 Visiting Artist Residency as part of his prize.

Stern studied ceramic art at both TAFE College of Ceramics in Brisbane, Australia, and Alfred University in New York, but soon found himself drifting toward the art of glass. While attending the Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington, Stern began exploring techniques for engraving and carving glass, a process he continues today.

Stern began his five-day Visiting Artist Residency at the Museum this week and is working with the Museum of Glass Hot Shop Team to create pieces for both new and current series that he will eventually carve. Stern is experimenting with clear glass pieces for his new series Clear Coast, while also continuing his 2014 series Lunar Light.

Visiting Artist Residencies allow artists from all over the world to work on their craft without the hindrance of financial constraints. Stern notes, “when you’re experimenting, it’s nice not to have those pressures.”

ethan stern

Ethan Stern (on the left, in the hat) working in the Hot Shop with Benjamin Cobb (left) and Gabe Feenan (right).

With the pressure removed, Stern has been playing with the scale and shapes of his Lunar Light pieces, departing from his more traditional sharper edges to create round, oval, and even teardrop shapes.

And in contrast to the clear pieces he has made for Clear Coast, which he will later carve, Stern is also experimenting with layers of color as he revisits a previous project, Ice Coast, which Stern has previously made in white.

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Ethan Stern; Ice Coast, 2013; 10 x 10.5 x 4 inches; Photo by Russell Johnson.

While he did not enter his residency with the intention of making pieces for a specific exhibition, some of the pieces may be included in two of his upcoming exhibitions in the fall and winter of this year, one of which is a show at Seattle’s Traver Gallery in September.

Like many artists who exhibit their work and produce art in their own studios, Stern often finds himself tied to commitments, but coming to Museum of Glass to spend five days in the Hot Shop is a liberating change of pace.

“The opportunity to make things outside of those commitments is energizing,” says Stern. To see him using this artistic energy in the Hot Shop, visit Museum of Glass on Saturday or Sunday, or tune into the Museum’s live stream.

Shirley Klinghoffer – CRT Revisited Q&A 2

In conjunction with Shirley Klinghoffer: CRT Revisited, an exhibition inspired by hospital forms used to support women’s bodies during radiation therapy, artist Shirley Klinghoffer has invited others who have gone through cancer treatment to share their stories about the “healing objects” that accompanied them on their journey. Klinghoffer, who is a breast cancer survivor, shared her storyand now another survivor Mary Ann Wasil has shared her own

1. Describe your healing object?

My healing object is a tiny pink hand-knotted Rosary.wasil

2. Why is it important to you?

My son Eddy made it for me when he was in high school; he is now 21 years old.

3. Do you have any other stories which you would like to share?

During my eleven-year dance with breast cancer I have always taken great comfort in prayer, especially the Rosary. I am Roman Catholic and have always felt a deep connection with Mary, the mother of Jesus. This brave young woman was chosen by God to give birth to our Savior. Whoa. Not for the faint of heart.

 (It should be noted that when I was a child I actually used to thank God that I was NOT Mary, grateful to Him for choosing her and not me, because I knew I would not have been up to such a daunting task.)

The Rosary is a Scripture-based prayer. You pray the Hail Mary a total of 53 times (along with a handful of Our Fathers, a Glory Be or two – or six, and a Hail Holy Queen for good measure) while reflecting upon the great mysteries of the Catholic faith. Traditionally, specific Mysteries are prayed on specific days of the week during specific times of the Liturgical Calendar.

Frankly, I find it far too confusing – and, well, um, specific.

I love to pray. I “specifically” love to pray the “Hail Mary.”  (That’s me being witty…please forgive me.)

I don’t count sheep, I say the Rosary. I often drive in silence, and say the Rosary. I incorporate the Rosary into my meditation practice. When I was training for the NYC Marathon several years ago, yep, you guessed it, my running partners were a fairly even mix of The Beatles and the Rosary.

It’s my default, my “go-to”…it’s my place of peace, it’s, well, it’s just mine. I love it.

All three of my children know how much the Rosary means to me, so when my son made this delicate little Rosary with his own two hands, he knew how much I would cherish it. I am never without it.

I carry it in my purse or my pocket, even in my hand during my routine MRIs and scans while being treated for stage four metastatic breast cancer these last four years.

I don’t need the Rosary to pray the Rosary. But having the Rosary my son made with me at all times, well, it is, indeed, my most beloved healing object.

Do you have a story to share? Download the submission form and instructions here.

 

Shirley Klinghoffer – CRT Revisited Q&A

In conjunction with Shirley Klinghoffer: CRT Revisited, an exhibition inspired by hospital forms used to support women’s bodies during radiation therapy, artist Shirley Klinghoffer has invited others who have gone through cancer treatment to share their stories about the “healing objects” that accompanied them on their journey. Klinghoffer, who is a breast cancer survivor, shared her storyand now Teresa Wicks has shared her own.

  1. Describe your healing object?

It is a viceroy butterfly which is commonly seen in my area in May through the summer months New Image1

  1. Why is it important to you?

I had a breast biopsy done in mid-May of 2009 after being told I had an abnormal mammogram..  I told my husband that evening that I needed to go out and buy all my flowers to plant in my garden the next day since I would be home  waiting for a phone call from the breast center with my biopsy results.  I knew I wanted to keep my mind and hands occupied so I wouldn’t be sitting on pins and needles all day.  As I was working in the yard, I was moving the wheelbarrow with a large bag of potting soil down to our back yard which involves negotiating some steps.  As I was easing the wheelbarrow down the steps, a very large butterfly like the one in my photo appeared and landed on the bag of soil.  It was so big and beautiful in the morning light, it literally took my breath away.  My mother had died from another form of cancer when I was 20.  Now 32 years later, I sensed her presence via the butterfly telling me that no matter what the biopsy reveled, I would get through this.  It was such a profound moment for me.  About a half hour later, I did get the call telling me that the biopsy did reveal cancer in my left breast.  Over the course of the next year, I underwent 6 rounds of chemotherapy and 5 surgeries which included a bilateral mastectomy and breast reconstruction.

  1. Do you have any other stories which you would like to share?

I have a strong family history of cancer due to a genetic mutation. Most all of my maternal  family members who have  had cancer  have died. When I reached my 5 year milestone in 2014, I had a tattoo of a butterfly done on my lower leg to commemorate my anniversary and remind myself every day of the strength of being a survivor and all life lessons I gained from my experience. The most valuable lesson for me was truly living in the moment and not to worry about what may come.  This was especially brought into my focus in April of 2014 when my husband was seriously injured with both head and neck injuries  in a bicycle accident from which he has successfully recovered. New Image Do you have a story to share? Download the submission form and instructions here.

Gabe Feenan: Home Shop Advantage

By Serena Berry, Museum of Glass AV Department

Often found dancing around the Hotshop while wailing along to ‘80s power ballads a member of our glassblowing team, Gabe Feenan, was last week’s Visiting Artist. The self-proclaimed jokester shifted focus during the week from creating pieces for the MOG’s wide breadth of artists to creating his own work.

1According to Feenan, he happened upon glass art as a profession, but after 18 years it’s plain to see that he hasn’t taken his passion for granted. As a member for our team for the last 12 years, Feenan’s had a hand in creating pieces with world-class glassblowers such as Dante Marioni and Lino Tagliapietra. He’s a guy that likes to work hard while always continuing to be a student of his craft.

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As a continuation of his previous body of work, Center of Gravity, Feenan created modern compositions comprised of blown cane and tightly assembled geometric shapes. His previous work in this series consisted of mostly blown forms colored in earth tones, inspired by the Pacific Northwest; however this week he’s going to experiment with adding more solid forms and new colors, “I’m going to work with a little bit different palate than I’ve worked with in a long time. I’m going to try to brighten it up a little bit,” said Feenan.

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The parts of these sculptures were formed simultaneously using three different teams, then assembled item-by-item by Feenan in a delicate process. The work involved in creating these pieces was misleading, in relation to their design, because although they seemed simplistic in nature once finished they took about three hours to complete on the floor. 5

Feenan felt fortunate to be working with his co-workers and friends to complete these pieces. The blowers who assisted him during the week have a combined glass working knowledge of close to 100 years. Three of whom blow glass with Feenan five days a week and operate more as a family; we saw some great work out of Gabe Feenan and his team this week. To see more sculptures from Center of Gravity Feenan currently displays his work at the Vetri International Gallery in Seattle, WA.

Docent Traver Trip 2014

By Lena Gibson, Museum of Glass Docent

On a rainy Tuesday morning, five docents (Carol, Annette, Mary, Lysa, and I), two staff
members (Elisabeth and Bonnie), and two guests made our way to the Traver Gallery in Seattle using our Sound Transit bus system. We did not all ride the same bus, and in fact, two didn’t ride the bus at all. For those of us who did, it was a lot easier than driving, once we had figured out which bus to take, where to park, etc.

Bill Traver gave us an excellent tour of his gallery. We went to see two of our favorite artists, whose exhibits were closing soon. April Surgent spent time in Antarctica and used a time lapse technique with pinhole cameras to capture the light and ice and water and wildlife of the area. She then translated the images she captured into glass, using her unique technique of cameo carving into different colored layers of fused glass. She had made quite a few pieces for this exhibit and Mr. Traver told us each were sold already. 12

Then we went to another area of the gallery to look at the latest pieces from Preston Singletary, another favorite glass artist we were well acquainted with. In this exhibit, one of the new features were that there were pieces done in pastel colors, like golden yellow and salmon pink. There were three extremely large glass baskets that came with their own stands. Many of the hand sculpted figurines on Preston’s rattles now had the addition of locks of real human hair3456

It was interesting to see other works in the Traver Gallery, from Chihuly, Nancy Callhan, and many others. We were intrigued by fused cane works from Sean Albert.
We also went downstairs and around the corner to the Vetri Gallery. We saw some very nice pieces from Gabe Feenan, as well as many other nice works by different glass artists.

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I took these photos, with the exception of the one with the pink and gold heads by Preston. That was taken by Mary Robinson.
After the galleries, most of us headed to Pike Grill Brewing Company for lunch and a chance to talk everything over. I learned a lot about Corning from Bonnie and her guest, Lee, who works there.
The bus ride home was so much easier than a drive on I-5 south at that time of day.