Seattle Impressions

Loved the trip to Seattle. GLANC trips are so well organized and thought out that I feel occupied and taken care of the whole time. There was little down time. We really moved from place to place filling every minute of the day. I enjoyed meeting the young, up and coming artist Morgan Madison. Many in our group were not familiar with his work. He is creative and thinks “outside of the box.” Touring his studio and talking with him were well worthwhile.

It was fun returning to the Olympic Sculpture Park. I recall our first ‘hard-hat’ tour before the park was open. It was nice to return to see further installations including the bench by Ginny Ruffner. It was nice to see how active the park was with music and food trucks and people picnicking on the lawn.

The meal at Steelhead Diner was particularly enjoyable for the family style service as well as the tasty and abundant food.

I never tire of visiting the Chihuly Boathouse. It was nice to see the blowers in action at the studio and the many installations inside. The two classic cars were new. I believe the scull made by George Pocock was new, although I might not have noticed it before reading “The Boys in the Boat”. After reading that book, Lake Union and the Boathouse took on a new significance.

Jenny Pohlman and Sabrina Knowles. We were able to catch them at a moment when they were so relaxed in their own home and we could speak with them when they were totally a their leisure. They have some interesting stories to tell.

This tour of Pilchuck Glass School was more in depth than previous tours. I felt honored to have Executive Director Jim Baker as our docent and guide. I feel we gained a better understanding of the importance of Pilchuck to the American Glass movement over the decades. I can imagine my wife in her tent there in 1978. It was an intense period of time with lots of learning crammed in gaining expertise in a focused area of glass technique

Everyone enjoyed Rik Allen and Shelley Muzylowski Allen. It was great to have Rik show us video of a remarkable installation he did with lots of moving parts.  A space ship with a button which when pushed opened the bookcase-door to a hidden library. He explained his love of Star Trek and how he has been able to explore his passion artistically. Shelley’s work is, of course, gorgeous.

Jim Baker Giving us the Pilchuck Tour


The Chihuly Garden & Glass next door to the Space needle is something new since the last time I was in Seattle. I would highly recommend it to those who have not been. So many installations in one place! Some of Dale’s best work brought together and displayed in creative ways. I enjoyed seeing several of his collections in the restaurant: the accordions for instance, and all of the boats, and gadgets on display under the glass top of the dining tables.

On the bus we watched a very moving biography of Ginny Ruffner’s life. It seemed an honor to be able to go to her wonderful home in the middle of Seattle with a marvelous hidden garden to be able to spend a few hours with her. She is so vital. We heard about some of her plans for future installations and she remains ahead of the curve in imagination and creativity.

Finally, we arrived at the airport early so that we could explore all the concourses looking for the many installations. I particularly enjoyed “Journey Home” by Larry Kirkland. It is a large wood and dichroic glass racing shell with many oars, suspended from the ceiling.

Larry is the same artist that did the installation in the Fremont public library, so I derived particular pleasure seeing another of his boats, floating ethereally through the air and particularly in Seattle who supplied the winning crew in the 1936 Olympic games.


[Muni Barash]