Tuesday, April 7, 2009

March photos, part II: Dale Chihuly in Tacoma

Dale Chihuly is a native of Tacoma, Washington and the success of his career has helped to make the Northwest famous for glass art. It comes as no surprise then to find his works all over the Museum of Glass and all over downtown Tacoma. In fact, Chihuly and the Museum of Glass were joint partners in building the Chihuly Bridge of Glass, a pedestrian overpass that links the Museum, which sits above an inlet of Pudget Sound, to old downtown Tacoma.

Approaching the bridge, you would first notice the two enormous Chihuly-made towers of blue rock-candy crystal. The two-tone gray snowcone you see rising in the background is the Museum of Glass building.

What looks like a gray metal bookcase, partly hiding the Museum of Glass building, is one of a few structures on the bridge that contain Chihuly sculptures. This photo shows one of the divisions within such a display case, containing a glass cupid perched atop a green base. Notice that the background of the case is translucent, and if you stare hard enough you can just make out the freeway below the bridge.

Walking under parts of structures on the bridge is like being under the ocean floor and looking up to see the creatures on the bottom - that is, if all the living things on the ocean floor were turned to glass.

Just across the bridge is old downtown Tacoma, including the Union Station building, now a courthouse, which contains yet more glass art by Chihuly. Twisted glass snakes squirm around on the chandelier he created for the Rotunda.

These orange glass bats decorate the second floor window of the Station. You can also see the Bridge of Glass through the window.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

March photos, part I: Kids Design Glass

These sculptures from Tacoma's Museum of Glass come from their Kids Design Glass program, and are some of my favorite works in the place. Kids designed them, and then the team of glass artists from the museum built them as glass sculptures. Take a look: they're further proof of how creative kids can be before they grow up and become dull adults like you and me.

This first fearsome monster is "Chupacabra Way (the goat succer)", designed by Morgan Thomas. The chupacabra, in case you didn't know, is a type of livestock vampire sited in places like Puerto Rico, Texas, and Maine (why Maine?). And if I ever get any goats (non-metaphorically speaking), I'm sure I'll be keeping a closer eye on them in the future.

At the other end of the spectrum from monsters we have superheros, such as Bacon Boy here. In addition to being a special hero for my husband ("bacon makes everything better!"), Bacon Boy's superpowers include Meat Vision, and "the ability to shoot bacon bits and grease from his arms, and sausage and corn dogs from his eyes". He was designed by Austin Winters, who also designed Bacon Boy's evil arch-nemesis Fry Guy.