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15 years of glass

Museum of Glass to celebrate 15 years of art in Tacoma

The completed glass cone that adorns Tacoma’s Museum of Glass. Photo credit: Russell Johnson

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On Thursday, July 6, Tacoma's own Museum of Glass (MOG) will mark 15 years of creating and promoting glass as an art form in the South Sound.

The celebration will feature "cake and beverages during the day," said Jana Marcelia, MOG's director of communications, adding that the museum will be offering "free admission, a store discount, discount at the café, and a discount on our hands-on classes that day."

The MOG will continue the anniversary festivities July 23 when it hosts the first annual Glass Fest Northwest, "a celebration of glass and the artists of our region on MOG's waterfront plaza," Marcelia said.

A piece of glass artwork begins to take shape under the skilled hands of an artisan in the Hot Shop at the Museum of Glass on Tacoma’s waterfront. Photo credit: Russell Johnson
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This event, which will run from noon until 5 p.m., will include more than 25 local artists and crafts people, glass-making demos, food and beverage offerings, music and plenty of fun.

Admission to the museum will be free with the purchase of any item from a Glass Fest artist or $5 without a purchase.

Since 2002, Tacoma's Museum of Glass has:

  • Used 240 tons of glass in the Hot Shop
  • Hosted 313 artists from 23 countries
  • Offered 468 hours of guest lectures
  • Provided 118 public exhibitions
  • Been toured by almost 100,000 students
  • Opened its doors to nearly 2.5 million visitors from around the world

"Being a part of Tacoma for more than thirty years, I saw the potential for the city next to the water," said David Zeeck, president and publisher of the Tacoma News Tribune, in a recent interview.  "Museum of Glass helped the city fulfill that dream."

"Today, Museum of Glass continues to drive innovation through its creative programs, spectacular exhibitions, and access to the most skilled glass artists in the world," added Marcelia.

Artists like Ben Cobb.

For 15 years, Tacoma’s Museum of Glass has promoted glass as a creative art medium on the city’s waterfront. Photo credit: Russell Johnson
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"I have grown, watched, learned, taught and made glass alongside some of the best in the field of glassmaking, not to mention all of the artists we've introduced to the material," said Cobb, the museum's Hot Shop coordinator/gaffer. "I have been able to meet mentors and idols of mine, that I'm lucky enough to call friends and colleagues. I feel so fortunate to have been a part of this institution from day one, to watch the museum grow and thrive, and to continue to be a part of the international glass community."

Glass artist Gabe Feenan, the MOG's Hot Shop starter, agrees.

"Glass has a tradition, and we're lucky enough to push the limits of it every day thanks to the friendships and respect built over the last fifteen years within our team at MOG and across the glass community," he said. "It's why so many artists come to MOG - to explore and learn about glass - and I take great pride in being a part of it. I have been able to grow with this institution, finding my voice as a person and as an artist. Working at MOG is one of the best decisions I've ever made."

The public is invited to join with the Museum of Glass during its anniversary festivities as it celebrates 15 years of bringing art and beauty to Tacoma's waterfront.

Museum of Glass Birthday Celebration, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, July 6, Museum of Glass, 1801 Dock St., Tacoma, free, 253.284.4750, museumofglass.org

Glass Fest Northwest, noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, July 23, Museum of Glass Plaza, 1801 Dock St., Tacoma, free, 253.284.4750, museumofglass.org

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