Chihuly in the Northwest

Dale Chihuly’s glass artwork is EVERYWHERE in the Puget Sound region. There is, of course, the Museum of Glass in his hometown of Tacoma. I can think of several places in Seattle that have his work on display. And then there is this large piece hanging in Bellevue at Lincoln Square. I’m rather mixed personally on his artwork. I know that it is generally produced by other people at his direction, and I’m not a huge fan of the pieces like the one above.

I’ve heard several anecdotes about him through my attendance at Pilchuck Glass School, which he helped found, and other associations in the art world. A guest speaker for a lighting design class in school had previously worked for him and said that no matter what one thinks of his art, it is fun to work with as a lighting designer.

He does have a large personal collection of Native art and artifacts. I’ve decided that I need to go check out the exhibit, Dale Chihuly’s Northwest, at the Tacoma Art Museum this weekend. I’m intrigued by his cylinders and soft cylinders, of which I haven’t seen many. It isn’t unusual to see Native artists (Preston Singletary, Joe Fedderson) make basket forms from glass so I’m curious to see what Chihuly came up with and how he was influenced by Native trade blankets.


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