Tacoma’s World-Class Museums are Re-Opening with New Exhibitions

Written and Released By The Tacoma Museum District

Tacoma, WA – After a year (more or less) of closure related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tacoma’s Museum District is springing back to life with a bevy of new exhibitions and experiences for visitors. Each museum is implementing best practices for public health, including social distancing, one-way gallery paths, increased cleaning throughout the day, bolstered air filtration systems, and occupancy limits per the Office of the Governor, among other measures. Visitors will be required to wear masks or face coverings. With these protocols in place, visitors can feel welcome to dive into the culture again.

“We are really happy to be at the point of safely reopening and welcoming our community again,” said Jennifer Kilmer, Washington State Historical Society’s director. “Stimulating exhibitions, cultural engagement and education are critical nutrients to feed resilience as folks begin to recover from the challenges of the past year. We know people are eager to get out and enjoy new spaces and opportunities to learn and connect, and the museums are ready to fill those needs.”

Some of the museums will initially operate with reduced schedules. Some will also continue to offer online programs and all offer online educational resources. Check each museum’s website for hours and admissions information before you go, as each organization’s situation can change.

Brent Mason, executive director at the Foss Waterway Seaport, shared similar thoughts about the role of museums in the community right now. “Museums play a critical role in restoring our sense of progress and community by bringing us together virtually and physically to learn about art, culture, history and the natural world around us, about one another and our diverse cultures and backgrounds, through experiences that are transporting, enriching, and, especially important at this time, joyful.”

With spring around the corner it’s a great time to revitalize your mind and spark your imagination by visiting these six amazing museums. See what’s new and reconnect with culture and community. Planned opening dates, hours, and websites for the museums are listed below:

Washington State History Museum

Opens Friday, April 2, 2021.

Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM; and every Third Thursday, 10:00 AM-8:00 PM with free admission from 3:00-8:00 PM.

Website: www.WashingtonHistory.org

Reopening Highlight: Just the Ticket! Hop aboard for a journey through the history of railroad passenger travel in Washington. Learn the how, why, when and where passengers rode the rails through the Evergreen State. And don’t miss the state’s largest public model railroad display while you’re visiting!

Museum of Glass

Opens Friday, April 2 for a Members-Only Day, and open to all starting Saturday, April 3, 2021.

Hours: Friday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM

Website: www.MuseumOfGlass.org

Reopening Highlight: Museum of Glass is excited to welcome the Hot Shop Team back to the Cone, and reopen with two new exhibitions, Counterparts: Glass + Art Elements and René Lalique: Art Deco Gems from the Steven and Roslyn Shulman Collection. Details on Family Days, select educational opportunities, and the Museum Store will be available on the MOG website.

America’s Car Museum

Opens Friday, April 2, 2021

Hours: Friday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM, last entry at 4:30PM

Website: www.AmericasCarMuseum.org

Reopening highlight: Let ’Zoom’ have a different meaning as you leave the office behind and  fill up on LeMay – America’s Car Museum’s high octane exhibits! Explore everything from the supercars of Steve Saleen to the 1918 Liberty Cadillac 1257X, a special car documented in the Library of Congress and featured in the National Register for Historic Vehicles! Fuel up your family fun and drive over to ACM for an adventure we’re sure will have you pushing the accelerator to keep going!

Children’s Museum of Tacoma

Opens Monday, April 12, 2021

Hours: Limited daily sessions by reservation only. For more information about hours and how to make a reservation, see https://playtacoma.org.

Website: https://playtacoma.org

Reopening Highlight: The downtown Children’s Museum of Tacoma will reopen with a fantastical new climber that allows for big body movement and inspires imaginative play! Also announcing the grand opening of the Children’s Museum at Joint Base Lewis-McChord on Saturday, April 24, 2021.

Tacoma Art Museum

Opens Friday, April 16, 2021

Hours: Friday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM

Website: www.TacomaArtMuseum.org

Reopening Highlight: Painting Deconstructed: Selections from the Northwest CollectionTake a deep dive into the art of painting by focusing on core components that come together to create a finished image.

Foss Waterway Seaport

Opens Thursday, June 3, 2021

Hours: Thursday – Sunday, 10:00 AM–4:00 PM, and every Third Thursday 10:00 AM-4:00 PM with free admission from 4:00-8:00 PM.

Website: https://fosswaterwayseaport.org

Reopening Highlight: Private tours available of our brand new Heritage Boat Shop, plus explore our newly refreshed Rails to Sails exhibit.

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Image credit: Photo by Michael Simmons. The Chihuly Bridge of Glass provides a stunning walkway linking the museums on Pacific Avenue with the museums along Thea Foss Waterway. Access the bridge on the west side at the plaza outside of the Washington State History Museum, and on the east side atop the graceful staircase that wraps around the landmark cone at the Museum of Glass.

About The Tacoma Museum District
The Tacoma Museum District is one of the jewels of the South Sound! Visit six premier museums within walking distance to each other (or catch the convenient and free Link light rail). Each museum shares a different aspect of Pacific Northwest arts and culture and they work together to share the best of Tacoma as a destination.

Where are the museums? Along Pacific Avenue you’ll find the Children’s Museum of Tacoma, the Tacoma Art Museum, and just past Historic Union station, the Washington State History Museum. From the History Museum, take the pedestrian Bridge of Glass right to the Museum of Glass. Stroll along Thea Foss Waterway to reach the Foss Waterway Seaport. Catch the Link on Pacific Ave for a quick ride over toward America’s Car Museum. See each museum’s website for address and location details.

 

Don’t call it a comeback….

That’s right folks, As the Pipe Turns, the one and only Museum of Glass blog is back to bring you all the glass-related information you didn’t know you needed. As the Museum adapts to these changing times the blog will become a place to continue exploring your passion for glass – including interviews with artists, behind the scenes details from the Curatorial team, community events, and more.

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Now more than ever, it is essential for MOG to continue igniting creativity, fueling discovery, and enriching lives through glass and glassmaking. While engagement with the Museum may look a little different, Museum of Glass remains a place to share and promote the importance of art in the community. So, please comment what YOU want to hear about and let’s get the conversation going.

Thank you for your continued support and be sure to follow As the Pipe Turns for upcoming post updates.

 

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.

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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.