I headed down to Tacoma’s Museum of Glass on what I thought would be the last day of sun until the new year. Halfway to Tacoma a huge fog bank enveloped the highway, and spread over Tacoma as well.
I’ve always loved the joyful play of light and color that glass provides. I learned about Dale Chilhuly by my second mom, Pauline, who went to RISD and taught art in R.I. She knew about Chilhuly (another RISD grad) and pointed him out to me when I moved to Seattle. As much as I love seeing Chilhuly pieces here and there around town, I’ve wanted to see a big installation since I saw his huge installations at SAM (Seattle Art Museum) many, many years ago.
MOG does not disappoint. Chilhuly’s work is all in outside exhibits, good because photography is allowed, bad because shooting in 40 degree weather gets old pretty quickly, especially after two hours.
Although you can’t take photos in the galleries, the exhibits are varied and fascinating. Take a look at the current exhibits at their site: www.museumofglass.org. You have to stash all bags at the main desk to enter the galleries, something that usually worries me. Maybe it was because the museum had so few visitors, but I didn’t feel any stress leaving all my stuff there.
I first spent time shooting the clear glass landscapes that are in the ponds out front. These will be better with a blue sky behind them. I then moved on to the Chilhuly exhibits. I could see immediately that the glass ceiling is going to keep me occupied for many many visits, so when I couldn’t feel my toes any longer, I went inside. I’ll return when it’s warmer and I have more time.
I got my camera and knapsack and headed into the glass blowing studio. This is in the shape of a theatre, there are seats for spectators and the glass blowing is on a large stage you look down on. There are several ovens and blowing stations. The light is somewhat dim, but the orange light that spills onto the glass artists from the furnaces is worth it. Glass creation is always dramatic, so this worth some time.
Lastly was the very tempting store. Although everything is online as well, in person glass is magical, and I wanted one of everything. The one thing I bought was museum gel, which you use to stick valuables to their shelves. I’d seen it years ago, never purchased it, and regretted it.
To conclude, MOG is totally worth the trip to Tacoma and the $12 entrace fee. I’m seriously considering becoming a member, for the Chilhuly ceiling if for nothing else. Below are some results of the day’s activities.
Warning: The photos’ thumbnails don’t have the true color, so please click on the individual photos to see the real color.