ICOM International Committee for Museums and Collections of Glass

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October 14, 2021

Annual Festival. Seattle Workshop

Refract Spotlights Glass Artists in the Pacific Northwest

This annual festival celebrating creative uses of glass returns to Seattle this October with more than 60 local artists.

Although it is a relatively young genre in the United States, glass art has flourished in the Pacific Northwest. With its vast breadth and depth of talent, the area has become a major hub for glass art, dubbed the “American Venice.” Now, for the third year in a row, the artists and organizations who put the region on the map invite you to learn what makes this community special.

From October 14–17, 2021, experience unparalleled access to emerging artists and master glassmakers who laid the groundwork for this vibrant glass scene at Refract: The Seattle Glass Experience. Festival programming reflects the diverse offerings of the region’s glass community through exhibitions, art parties, open studio tours, demonstrations, and more.

Over the weekend, get up close to the magic of molten glass during live demonstrations. In the Shoreline Glassblowing Celebration on October 16, Indigenous artists Raya Friday (Lummi Nation) and Tim Charles (Cowichan Tribe) will hot sculpt designs submitted by locals. The resulting sculptures will be added to the City of Shoreline’s public art collection.

You can also attend a special evening with artist Lino Tagliapietra in his showroom. Now in his 80s, with over 70 years of experience, he is world-renowned for his incredible manipulation of glass and his innovative creations. The Maestro splits his time between Murano, Italy and Seattle. If you’re interested in going beyond the traditional, visit Gallery Mack’s exhibition Lit Fun, which is on view throughout the festival, to explore an innovative subculture that combines two unique corners of the glass art scene: neon and pipemaking.

With events for curious newcomers, long-time collectors, and anyone in between, Refract is a can’t-miss opportunity to explore the magic and depths of a truly fascinating material.

Check out Refract’s website for a full list of in-person and online programming, links to ticketed and free events, or to book a stay with a Refract Hotel Partner offering a unique package tied to the festival.