This weekend brings us the 34th annual Pilchuck Auction, something of a "fashion week" for Seattle glass art collectors.
In addition to hosting a swank gala and tours of the school's Stanwood campus, Pilchuck organizes an enormous auction of glass art made by Pilchuck students, teachers and alumni. Proceeds benefit scholarship programs at the school, which is now recognized as the premier glassblowing program in the nation.
The Pilchuck ripple effect cannot be overstated. Early participants such as glass legend William Morris (who first attended in 1978) mentored countless students, including Rik Allen. Benjamin Moore mentored Seattle glass luminaries Preston Singletary and Dante Marioni, both of whom were Pilchuck students in the early 1980s and went on to teach the next generation of glassmakers.
You don't have to travel out to Stanwood or pay thousands of dollars to appreciate this body of work, however.
On Thursday (October 11; 6pm-8pm), the public can view works by many of those aforementioned artists and a few hundred others listed in the Auction Catalogue—for free—at Pilchuck on Display, an exhibit of the works going up for auction. This will be the last opportunity to see many of them before they enter private collections. It's also a fun way to see how far glass art has come—in subject matter and in shape—since Dale Chihuly helped get it all started.
10/11, 6pm-8pm. Free admission. The Westin Seattle, 1900 Fifth Ave; pilchuck.com