Museum of Glass marks its 10th Anniversary with a new exhibition featuring the work of esteemed artist Lino Tagliapietra. Maestro: Recent Works by Lino Tagliapietra showcases 65 glass masterpieces created during the past decade (2002-2012). The exhibition opens Saturday, July 14, amidst the anniversary celebration weekend.
Tagliapietra is known internationally as the maestro of contemporary glass. Beginning at the age of eleven, he was trained by Muranese glass masters, perfecting his glassblowing skills through years of observation, repetition, and production. In subsequent years, his precision and mastery of molten glass became secondary to his creative expression. Tagliapietra has invented numerous new techniques and designs, creating works that are technically flawless and visually breathtaking—belying the complexity and difficulty of their creation. These works have positioned him as a cultural icon not only in the glass world but also as a seminal figure in contemporary art and have earned him the reputation as “the greatest living glassblower” by many of his peers.
At age 77, when most glassblowers have long since retired from a lifetime of strenuous physical work, Tagliapietra continues to expand his artistic achievement, earning numerous artistic and scholastic awards and being featured in solo and group exhibitions. “I hope that people see the love, the love for the material, the love for the fire. For the art I try to be honest with myself. That’s all.”
Maestro presents an overview of Tagliapieta’s most recent series. The works displayed demonstrate his evolution to larger works and use of bolder colors and patterns over his nearly fifty years as an artist. Six large-scale installations, featuring colorful butterflies (Borboleta), boats (Endeavor), seagulls (Gabbiani) and two separate collections of shields (Masai), are central to the exhibition. The final installation, a 79 x 40-inch curio case containing nearly one hundred opaque glass vessels, is titled Avventura which is Italian for ‘adventure’ and references Tagliapietra’s view of the unpredictable nature of molten glass. Some of the objects in the exhibition were created at Museum of Glass during one of Tagliapietra’s several Visiting Artist residencies in the Hot Shop.
“It is a privilege to host this exhibition—yet another salute to Lino’s lifetime of artistic achievement—at Museum of Glass,” comments executive director Susan Warner. “This body of work was created during the same timeframe that the Museum has been in existence. To celebrate this magnificent artist—who has influenced and inspired so many of the artists and visitors who have come through our doors—while we celebrate our first decade of service is very fitting.”
A full-color catalog co-published with the University of Washington Press accompanies the exhibition. It features an essay by Dr. Claudia Gorban, professor of film studies at University of Washington Tacoma, who investigates the medium of glass as alchemy and the artist’s role in universally elevating the art and craft of glassmaking and changing the course of contemporary glass worldwide.
Information provided by Museum of Glass: Susan Newsom, Communications Manager
The Museum of Glass provides a dynamic learning environment to appreciate the medium of glass through creative experiences, collections and exhibitions. In addition to the Hot Shop Amphitheater where visitors can watch artists work, the facilities include galleries, outdoor exhibition areas, a theater, hands-on art studio, grand hall, café and store.
Museum of Glass is sponsored in part by Ben B. Cheney Foundation, The Boeing Company Charitable Foundation, City of Tacoma Arts Commission, Arts Fund, Forest Foundation, and Sequoia Foundation.
Hours and Admission
Open Wed – Sat 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Third Thursdays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Store is also open Tuesdays 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Summer hours (Memorial Day through Labor Day): also open Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is free for members, $12 general, $10 seniors, military and students (13+ with ID), $10 groups of 10 or more, $5 children (6-12) years old. Children under 6 are admitted free. Admission is free every third Thursday of the month from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
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Museum of Glass, 1801 Dock Street Tacoma, WA 98402