10 in 10: 2002 Museum of Glass Transforms Tacoma Skyline

30 Dec

(This piece concludes our 10 in 10 series spotlighting 10 of the top people, ideas and organizations to hit Tacoma in the past decade. 10 in 10 was conceived in celebration of the 10th anniversary of Art at Work Month, Tacoma’s premier annual cultural event, and a month-long celebration of the arts.)

"Cone Study No. 3," the tilted cone at the Museum of Glass. Photo: Sharon Styer

The Museum of Glass opened its doors in 2002 and Tacoma instantly won a place on the international art map. This spectacular, world-class museum grew out of a conversation 10 years earlier between Phil Phibbs, recently retired president of the University of Puget Sound; and Tacoma native, glass visionary, and co-founder of the Pilchuck Glass School, Dale Chihuly. The two agreed that the emergent Studio Glass Movement deserved its own showcase, and that Tacoma should be its nexus. The idea would unfold over the next several years, achieving undreamed of success with its opening in 2002.

"The Glass Ceiling," the Chihuly Bridge of Glass. Photo: Sharon Styer

Today, the Museum of Glass forms the most recognizable silhouette on the Tacoma skyline. The MoG operates a top-flight learning facility for glass artists, with a Hot Shop Amphitheatre located inside its 90′-high tilted cone. Master glass artists from all over the world teach and exhibit at the MoG, and artists from other mediums are also represented in the galleries. The Chihuly Bridge of Glass, connecting the museum to downtown Pacific Ave.,  is a tribute to the glass artist who helped make an incredible vision a reality, and elevated Tacoma’s status as an art center.

Photographs of the Museum of Glass and art by Sharon Styer.

Enjoy past stories in our 10-in-10 Series:

10 in 10: 2003 New Tacoma Art Museum Unveiled
10 in 10: 2004 Scattered Ephemera
10 in 10: 2006 City Arts Magazine Hits Tacoma

10 in 10: 2001 Free Ya Mind
10 in 10: 2006 the Broadway Center Shines Anew

10 in 10: 2001 The Birth of Tacoma’s Very Own Volcano
10 in 10: 2005 The AMOCAT Awards

10 in 10: The F.W. Woolworth Building
10 in 10: 2001 Tacoma Gets Smart (UW-Tacoma and SOTA)

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