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Why Seattle is the Center of Glass Art in America

Seattle is famous for its world-class museums. Did you know it is also the glass art capital of the US? Every October, Refract: The Seattle Glass Experience showcases the stars of creative glass in a four-day immersive festival. Meet the artists, with special events, studio tours and demos that celebrate spectacular creativity.

Washington native Dale Chihuly pioneered the glass art movement in America in the 1960s. Today his namesake Chihuly Garden and Glass is one of the top attractions in the city, known around the world for its jaw-dropping masterpieces.

Fortunately, our Downtown Seattle hotel is close to many of the best glass art galleries, studios, museums and shops. Whether window shopping, gallery hopping, or investing in a new piece of art, keep this local list handy.

Courtesy Lino Tagliapietra
Courtesy Lino Tagliapietra
COURTESY TRAVER GALLERY
Courtesy Traver Gallery

GALLERIES + STUDIOS

MUSEUMS

GLASS ART SHOPS

Amazon Spheres

GLASS ART IN PUBLIC SPACES

Exploring the Emerald City, you’ll quickly notice that glass art is celebrated in public spaces everywhere. Upon arrival at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, impressive installations greet you in each concourse. In Concourse A marvel at Cappy Thompson’s I Was Dreaming of Spirit Animals, the largest single image glass painting in the U.S. In Concourse C, Cathedrale is a towering nod to the Pacific Northwest’s majestic landscape.

Stroll around our Belltown neighborhood for even more public glass art. One of the newest architectural marvels has been turning heads since 2018. The Amazon Spheres are three massive glass globes that anchor the retail giant’s South Lake Union campus. These greenhouse structures house over 40,000 plant species. Free public tours are offered on the first and third Saturdays of the month with advance reservations.

Of course, Seattle’s original glass icon is the Space Needle, where floor-to-ceiling glass panels and the world’s first glass floor have made it a beacon of imagination for over six decades.

 

Destination

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