Tag Archives: Tacoma

Those Summer Nights (and Days)

By Alex Carr, Communications Manager

Labor Day has passed, which means fall hours have arrived at Museum of Glass (MOG). It was another lively summer for the Museum, especially with the return of Night Blow. Here are some of the summer season’s highlights.

Night Blow

Once upon a time, Museum of Glass hosted an evening event called Night Blow. This summer, the Museum decided to bring back the popular party and host two free Night Blows for the public to enjoy on those beautiful Pacific Northwest evenings. The first one, in July, invited visitors to enjoy glassblowing by Dan Friday and Courtney Branam in the Hot Shop, fire dancing on the plaza, and music by SoundAbout DJ. Next month’s Night Blow saw nearly 1,000 people visit MOG on Third Thursday to watch the Tacoma Glassblowing Studio team in the Hot Shop and flameworking on the plaza. SoundAbout DJ returned for the second Night Blow of the summer and Social Bar and Grill kept hungry guests happy with their food truck on the plaza.


Night Blow guests gather to watch the fire dancing performance. Photo by John Ferguson.

Visiting Artist Lino Tagliapietra

There’s nothing quite like watching the Maestro of glass art working in the Museum’s Hot Shop. In July, Lino Tagliapietra returned to MOG for another Visiting Artist Residency, and this time visitors were treated to something new—Tagliapietra’s Endeavor boats. During his previous residencies, the Maestro and his team have worked with the Museum of Glass Hot Shop Team on a variety of vessels, but this time around it was all about the boats. Check out Hot Shop emcee Greg Owen’s earlier blog post on Tagliapietra’s summer residency.

Russell Johnson Photographer, Lino Tagliapietra Inc.

Russell Johnson Photographer, Lino Tagliapietra Inc.

Rev Up

The Museum’s annual Red Hot Auction & Gala is just around the corner. To get ready for the September 17 event, Museum of Glass hosted its second Rev Up party. Artists, art lovers, and Museum of Glass patrons enjoyed an evening at Seattle’s Glass Distillery, where guests began to get red carpet ready for Red Hot. Tickets to the annual gala, featuring a gourmet dinner, live and silent auctions, and an after party with Ethan Stern, are available online.

See more photos from Rev Up here.

Summer may have come and gone, but there’s still plenty to look forward to this year. I’m personally excited for the opening of the Museum’s new exhibition Into the Deep, seasonal hands-on glassmaking workshops, and, of course, more Visiting Artists!

Alex Carr is the Communications Manager at Museum of Glass. When she’s not circulating the Hot Shop floor trying to get the perfect Instagram shot for the Museum, you’ll find her baking at home, running at Green Lake, or exploring Washington’s wineries.

The Season of Hilltop Artists

By Bonnie Wright, Curator of Education and Community Engagement

There’s so much Hilltop Artists programming in the community this summer and fall, both at Museum of Glass and in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood!

Hilltop Artists students and the Museum of Glass Hot Shop Team.

Hilltop Artists students and the Museum of Glass Hot Shop Team.

Hilltop Artists Residency, August 10-14

Hilltop Artists worked in the Museum of Glass Hot Shop last week making centerpieces for their Better Futures Luncheon. Check out MOG’s Meet the Artist video featuring these young students!

Hilltop Street Fair, August 27

Come visit both the Museum of Glass booth and the Hilltop Artists booth at the Hilltop Street Fair from 11 am to 7 pm on Saturday, August 27! Celebrate art, music, and fun activities in the Hilltop neighborhood on Martin Luther King Way between 9th and 13th Streets.

Hilltop Artists Make Your Own Glass Floats at MOG, September 24-25

Try your hand at blowing glass, guided by a Hilltop Artist at Museum of Glass! Make your own glass float to celebrate the opening weekend of the Into the Deep exhibition!

Photo courtesy of Hilltop Artists.

Photo courtesy of Hilltop Artists.

Hilltop Artists Make Your Own Glass Pumpkins at MOG, October 1-2 & 29-30

You’ve tried blowing glass….now, how about sculpting it? Kick off your fall with this unique paperweight workshop, led by a Hilltop Artist!

Make Your Own

And don’t forget, you can catch Hilltop Artists working in the Museum of Glass Hot Shop on the Third Thursday of each month from 5 to 8 pm!

Bonnie Wright is the Curator of Education and Community Engagement at Museum of Glass. A newcomer to the west coast, Bonnie can often be found exploring Tacoma, Seattle, and the region’s natural wonders.

Museum of Glass Offers Free Admission to Active-Duty Military and their Families!

By Bonnie Wright, Curator of Education and Community Engagement

Blue Star Museums

Blue Star Museums is a national appreciation program, organized by the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and over 2,000 museums across the country, instituted to thank our military families for their service and to share with them America’s museums.

Since 2010, Blue Star Museums have offered FREE admission to the nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Tacoma museums, including Museum of Glass, are once again offering free admission as part of the program this summer.

Participating Tacoma museums:

Buffalo Soldiers Museum

Children’s Museum of Tacoma

Foss Waterway Seaport

Job Carr Cabin Museum

Museum of Glass

Tacoma Art Museum

Washington State Historical Society

This is a great opportunity for military families to experience exhibitions, artist demonstrations, family days, and hands-on crafts.

The complete list of museums participating is available at https://www.arts.gov/national/blue-star-museums. ID is required to receive free admission.

Thank you for your service!

Bonnie Wright is the Curator of Education and Community Engagement at Museum of Glass. A newcomer to the west coast, Bonnie can often be found exploring Tacoma, Seattle, and the region’s natural wonders.

Five Minutes with Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen

Visiting Artist Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen has often been inspired by the natural world, finding her creative spark through traveling, observing animals, and exploring the outdoors.

MOG caught up with the Visiting Artist ahead of her residency to ask a few questions about the inspiration behind her work and what she is looking forward to this week.

Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen working; Photo by Russell Johnson.

Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen working; Photo by Russell Johnson.

My favorite memory of exploring the outdoors is…

Well, any animal interaction puts me in “awe.” One event that stands out..My friend and I thought it would be great to take a mountain hike in April. After hours of pushing through the snow, we gave up the idea of making it to the top, so instead we climbed a boulder to catch some sun. While we were sitting there overlooking a snow covered meadow, a family of wolverines, two adults and two youngsters, came out and took turns sliding down the slope! Unforgettable and truly amazing!

I am inspired most by…

Besides kindness? And people who treat other people with dignity? And folks who stand up against hate? Other than that, natural history, rocks, plants, and animals. I can’t get over the glory of the natural works.

Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen; Peacock, 2015; Blown glass and steel; 26 x 35 x 16 inches; Photo by KP Studio.

Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen; Peacock, 2015; Blown glass and steel; 26 x 35 x 16 inches; Photo by KP Studio.

Collaborating with other artists has taught me…

To stay open. Be a sponge and soak up as much as I can.

If I could give my younger self one piece of advice about working with glass, it would be…

We all have our own path, trust in it. Live for your spirit. It is the only true wealth. Love life and live passionately.

During my residency, I am most looking forward to…

Sharing a vision, working with great people, a watching audience, a great shop, creating what I am passionate about!! HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY HAPPY JOY HAPPY JOY JOY JOY!

Plan a visit to Museum of Glass to see Visiting Artist Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen working from July 13 through 17, or watch her residency online.

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a….Volcano?

By Kate Sandoval, Frontline Representative

While most Museum-goers want to know about what’s happening inside Museum of Glass, many visitors also want to know what’s going on outside. The most popular questions I get about the outside of the Museum are related to the architectural marvel we call “The Cone.”

cone jan2

Standing 90-feet tall, the shimmering funnel has become an iconic aspect of the Tacoma skyline. Covered in 2,800 diamond shaped shingles made of stainless steel, the structure reinvents its identity with each passing person.

Some guests say the cone reminds them of the beehive burners that once lined the Thea Foss Waterway. MOG’s architect, Arthur Erickson, did in fact designed the cone to be reminiscent of the wood-burning sawmills once common in this part of the country.

Other visitors let their imagination take flight when they see the cone. I have had guests tell me they see a shimmering upside-down waffle cone! More than once people have shared with me the cone looks like a mini volcano! But, my favorite interpretation of the cone was a guest who said the building looked like a James Bond villain’s lair!

So what do you see when you look at the unique architecture of Museum of Glass? Do you see a cone? An upside down ice cream? Something completely different? Leave a reply and let us know what comes to mind when you’re gazing at Tacoma’s distinctive landmark.

Kate Sandoval is part of the Visitor Services team at Museum of Glass. She is currently pursuing her BA in Art, Media & Culture from the University of Oklahoma. When she’s not working or studying, she enjoys long walks to the refrigerator, midnight snacks, and Netflix.