On the Trail of Dale Chihuly
Northwest glass artist Dale Chihuly, one of the founders of the Pilchuck School for art glass, north of Seattle, is recognized internationally for his fanciful, color-saturated contemporary art glass. From tabletop vessels to huge chandeliers and massive window installations, his creations in glass have a depth and richness of color treasured by collectors around the world. His sensuous forms include vases within bowls reminiscent of Technicolor birds' eggs in giant nests. Works in his ikebana series, based on the traditional Japanese flower-arranging technique, are riotous conglomerations of color that twist and turn like so many cut flowers waving in the wind.
No one place in Seattle features a large collection of his work, but numerous public displays exist around the city. On the third floor of the Washington State Convention and Trade Center, Pike Street and Eighth Avenue, is a case with some beautifully lighted pieces. In the adjacent Sheraton Seattle Hotel, 1400 Sixth Ave., there is a display of art glass by Chihuly and other artists who have worked at the Pilchuck School. The City Centre shopping arcade, 1420 Fifth Ave., also has displays by numerous glass artists, including Chihuly. Don't miss the large wall installation that is beside this upscale shopping arcade's lounge. You'll also find two Chihuly chandeliers inside Benaroya Hall, Third Avenue between Union and University streets, which is the home of the Seattle Symphony. On Capitol Hill, you can see a large Chihuly chandelier in the lobby of Seattle University's Pigott Building, 901 12th Ave.
Want to take home an original Chihuly as a souvenir of your visit to Seattle? Drop by the Foster/White Gallery, 220 Third Ave. S. (tel. 206/622-2833; www.fosterwhite.com), in Pioneer Square.
If you're a serious fan of Chihuly's work and art glass in general, then you have to take the time for an excursion to Tacoma, 32 miles south of Seattle. Here you'll find the Museum of Glass, 1801 Dock St. (tel. 866/468-7386; www.museumofglass.org), which is devoted to art glass in all its forms and is connected to downtown Tacoma via a pedestrian bridge designed by Chihuly. You can see more of Chihuly's work at the Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave. (tel. 253/272-4258; www.tacomaartmuseum.org), like the beautiful window pictured. Just up the street from here, at Tacoma's restored Union Station, 1717 Pacific Ave. (tel. 253/863-5173), which is now the federal courthouse, there is a fascinating large Chihuly installation in a massive arched window.For more information on Chihuly installations in the area, go to www.chihuly.com/Seasites.html.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.