Press Release


June 9, 2019

Media Contacts:

Kauilani Robinson, Visit Seattle
(206) 461-5839 |

Amanda Whitver, Chihuly Garden and Glass
(206) 753-4924 |

Pacific Northwest Art Organizations Come Together for Inaugural Glass Festival

Visitors can begin planning a weekend full of tours, demonstrations, parties, exhibits and more with recently released line-up

SEATTLE – For the first time, more than 30 Pacific Northwest arts organizations are coming together to host events for Refract: The Seattle Glass Experience, held October 17-20, 2019. Refract is the nation’s newest festival, which highlights creative uses of glass and demonstrates why this region is the recognized hub of art glass in the United States – the “American Venice.”

Programming for the festival is designed to appeal to long-term collectors and those new to the medium with a mix of events over four full days. Visitors are invited to explore the Pacific Northwest’s creative community and meet the people who contribute to its vibrancy through opportunities including:

  • Art parties – Mix and mingle at evening parties hosted by Chihuly Garden and Glass, Pratt Fine Arts Center, Pilchuck Glass School and Pike Place Market.
  • The “Transparency” exhibition – Organized by the National Liberty Museum, the Museum of Glass in Tacoma is presenting the West Coast premiere of “Transparency,” the nation’s first museum exhibition of studio glass works produced exclusively by artists in the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Art market – Discover new talent and take home original art from independent artists at the “Bell Street Art Market,” an open-air shopping experience hosted by Seattle Glassblowing Studio.
  • Studio tours – Tour Benjamin Moore Inc., one of the longest running and most established glass studios in Seattle, or visit the studio of Lino Tagliapietra, who has worked with glass for more than 70 years and earned the esteemed title of “Maestro” at age 21.
  • Open hot shop opportunities – Create your own glass pieces – including pumpkins, nightlights, paperweights, bowls and more – with hands-on experiences at Blowing Sands Glass Studio, glassybaby madrona, and Seattle Mosaic Arts.

Interest and experimentation in the medium has flourished in the United States, particularly in the Pacific Northwest, since the country’s first glass program ignited the studio glass movement in 1962. This movement marked a shift from glass works being produced primarily in factories to artists creating one-of-a-kind glass objects.

“I’ve spent 45 years selling glass in Seattle and in those years, the city has grown up and changed a lot, right alongside the studio glass movement – the growth between the two goes hand-in-hand,” said William Traver, owner of Traver Gallery and Vetri in Seattle. “As much as we have going on here with glass, it’s very surprising how few people know about it. Refract will bring a lot of attention to the artists in the region and introduce people to all the diversity in this medium that our community has to offer.”

Participating organizations include:

  • Avalon Glassworks
  • Bainbridge Island Museum of Art
  • Bellevue Arts Museum
  • Benjamin Moore Inc.
  • Blowing Sands Glass Studio
  • Chihuly Garden and Glass
  • Chihuly Studio
  • City of Shoreline Public Art Program
  • CoCA – Center on Contemporary Art
  • Foster/White Gallery
  • Friends in Glass
  • Glass Art Society
  • Glass Eye Studio
  • Glasshouse-Studio
  • glassybaby
  • Lino Tagliapietra Inc.
  • METHOD Gallery
  • Museum of Glass
  • Pike Place Market
  • Pilchuck Glass School
  • Pohlman Knowles Studio
  • Pratt Fine Arts Center
  • Preston Singletary Studio
  • Schack Art Center
  • Seattle Architecture Foundation
  • Seattle Art Museum
  • Seattle Center Monorail
  • Seattle Glassblowing Studio
  • Seattle Mosaic Arts
  • SIFF
  • Stonington Gallery
  • Tacoma Art Museum
  • Traver Gallery
  • Vetri
  • Western Neon School of Art

Additional details on programming and events can be found at Learn more about the study of the state of glass art in America at Images for media use can be found at

About Visit Seattle
Visit Seattle has served as the official destination marketing organization (DMO) for Seattle and King County for more than 50 years. A 501(c)(6) organization, Visit Seattle enhances the economic prosperity of the region through global destination branding along with competitive programs and campaigns in leisure travel marketing, convention sales and overseas tourism development. More than 40 million annual visitors spend $7.9 billion in the city and county each year. The economic power of travel and tourism generates more than 78,000 Seattle area jobs and contributes $806 million in annual state and local tax revenue. Visit

About Chihuly Garden and Glass
Located at Seattle Center, Chihuly Garden and Glass brings together all the elements of artist Dale Chihuly’s work, including Drawings, signature glass series, large architectural installations and personal collections. This long-term Exhibition features indoor galleries, the centerpiece Glasshouse, and an ever-changing Garden, along with live glass demonstrations, a Theatre, and Collections Café – a Northwest dining experience featuring items from Chihuly’s personal collections. Learn more at






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