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SEA Airport and Pilchuck Glass School Co-Curate Art Exhibit

Temporary art celebrates 50th anniversary of international center for glass art education
December 17, 2021

Travelers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) can now enjoy a temporary art exhibit co-curated with Pilchuck Glass School to honor its 50th anniversary as an international center for glass art education since. The school was founded in 1971 by Seattle glass artist Dale Chihuly and patrons Anne Gould Hauberg and John H. Hauberg.

“As an international gateway to trade, travel and tourism, SEA has a platform to share art with the visiting public that represents this region,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner and Co-Chair of the Port-Wide Arts and Culture Board Peter Steinbrueck. “It is an honor for us to welcome these artists that illustrate the incredible breadth and depth of the glass art tradition in the Pacific Northwest as we commemorate the continuing legacy of the Pilchuck Glass School.”

The multipart installation includes six glass artworks and a vinyl display on the large windows near Concourse A exit that chronicles Pilchuck Glass School’s milestones over the last half century and the evolution of the Studio Glass Movement in the Pacific Northwest. The center for glass education began as a one-summer glassblowing workshop and evolved into the world’s most comprehensive program for artists around the globe.

“Over the past fifty years, the greater Seattle area has become one of the world’s most vibrant, exciting, and innovative centers for glass art, thanks in large part to the electric mix of studio artists, galleries, museums, and educational centers that sprung up and thrived here,” said Pilchuck Glass School Director of Marketing Sarah Parkinson. “As we celebrate fifty years of Pilchuck Glass School, we wanted to share this rich legacy with the greater Seattle community. There is so much to see, do, and share here for those who want to learn more about the fascinating, ever-evolving material that is glass! We hope visitors to the airport come away feeling inspired to dive a little deeper into the art and artists at the heart of our city.”

Glass art exhibit at SEA

The art collection at SEA adds to the travel experience by augmenting the aesthetics of the terminal and creating a Pacific Northwest sense of place. The airport’s art is evolving with new acquisitions and installations that reflect our region’s diverse environment, culture, spirit, people, and history.

Singletary's sculpture Transforming Killer Whale is located on the ticketing level at SEA Airport
Preston Singletary, Transforming Killer Whale, 2018

The Public Art program at SEA features rotating exhibits of museum-quality artwork and artifacts that reflect the history, culture, or trade of the Pacific Northwest. Pilchuck Glass School Deputy Director Donna Davies and the Port’s Public Art Program Sr. Manager and Curator Tommy Gregory co-curated this exhibit of six Seattle-area glass artists, including Dante Marioni, Preston Singletary, Nancy Callan, Richard Royal, Ginny Ruffner, and Marita Dingus.

“Our region is synonymous with glass art and this exhibit creates an opportunity for travelers to experience the Pacific Northwest,” said Gregory. “These artworks invite you to view and consider the diversity and tenure of glass art created right here."

  • Dante Marioni, Emerald Green Maze, 2021: Dante Marioni comes from a family of artists and began blowing glass at 15-years-old. Through the process of making his vessels, he joined the centuries-long conversation about classical design, proportion, and aesthetics. Marioni has participated at Pilchuck Glass School every summer since 1983 and currently serves on the Board of Trustees. He received the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award and the 2016 Libenský | Brychtová Award. Marioni’s work is held in the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Victoria and Albert Museum, and White House Collection of American Crafts.
  • Preston Singletary, Transforming Killer Whale, 2018: The art of Preston Singletary is synonymous with the relationship between European glassblowing traditions and Northwest Native art. His artworks explore themes of transformation, animal spirits, and shamanism through elegant blown glass forms and mystical sand-carved Tlingit designs. In 2018 he launched a new traveling exhibition premiering at the Museum of Glass titled “Raven and the Box of Daylight,” which pushes the boundaries of glass as a medium for storytelling.
  • Marita Dingus, Scissor Accessories, 2006: Marita Dingus is primarily a mixed-media sculptor who uses discarded materials and draws upon relics from the African Diaspora. She attended Tyler School of Art at Temple University (BFA) and San Jose State University (MFA). She received a Visual Art Fellowship from Artist Trust, a John S. Guggenheim Fellowship, the Morrie and Joan Alhadeff PONCHO Artist of the Year Award, and most recently the Irving and Yvonne Twining Humber Award. Dingus exhibits internationally, and her work is included in the collections of the John S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Microsoft Corporation, Museum of Glass, and Tacoma Art Museum.
  • Nancy Callan, Quartet Cloud, 2020: Nancy Callan’s artistic voice as a glass sculptor reflects her high-level training and talents. She was a key member of maestro Lino Tagliapietra’s team for nineteen years. Callan’s numerous awards include the Creative Glass Center of America Fellowship, and she participated in residencies at the Museum of Glass, the Toledo Museum of Art, Pittsburgh Glass Center, and Chrysler Museum of Art. Callan’s work is represented by several galleries throughout the country. She is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Glass, Muskegon Museum of Art, Museum of Northwest Art, and Shanghai Museum of Glass.
  • Richard Royal, Golden Gradient Twist, 2016: Richard Royal began working as a glass sculptor at Pilchuck Glass School in 1978. His work is exhibited internationally in numerous galleries and invitational shows such as Habatat International and the recent Venice and American Studio Glass at Le Stanze del Vetro. His work can be found in noteworthy collections, including the Mint Museum of Art + Design, High Museum, New Orleans Museum of Art, and Daiichi Museum. He was one of the first Artists-in-Residence at the Waterford Crystal Factory in Ireland. Royal continues to teach at various schools and universities.
  • Ginny Ruffner, Bouquet of Muses, 2020: Ginny Ruffner’s flameworked glass brought her international fame as an artist, yet it is her imagination that continues to keep her relevant. Her ability to engage the viewer was aptly demonstrated in her exploration of augmented reality, “Reforestation of the Imagination,” at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery in 2020. Ruffner’s work is in 90 permanent museum and public collections around the world. She authored two books and is the subject of an award-winning, full-length documentary A Not So Still Life, the Ginny Ruffner Story. Ruffner lectures extensively and served as an artist-in-residence numerous times at schools and universities around the world. She is the recipient of many awards, including the 2019 GAS Lifetime Achievement Award.

Pilchuck Glass School fosters a worldwide community for the creative use of glass in art and design

Now in its fiftieth year, Pilchuck is an international center for glass art education located amidst a working tree farm in Stanwood, Wash. What began as an experimental outdoor glass workshop has grown into an advanced center to explore and share all manners of working with glass.

From May through September every year, Pilchuck's Summer and Fall Program offer courses and residencies for emerging and established artists in all media. Small classes taught by world-renowned artists and instructors emphasize experimentation and teamwork while fostering individual initiative and expression. Combining a deep focus on glass, access to a variety of resources, a picturesque Pacific Northwest setting, and an ever-expanding international community of artists, Pilchuck has become the most comprehensive educational center in the world for glass artists.


Perry Cooper | SEA Airport Media Officer
(206) 787-4923 |

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