Pilchuck’s gala glass auction worth a trip

During a recent visit to Seattle, I timed it just right to attend the Pilchuck Glass School’s 31st Annual Auction. ( Talk about feeling old–I actually have a couple of glass pieces I had bought at one of their very first auctions, back in the day, where you could still score some incredible works of art for under $100.00)

You’d never guess that the economy was hurting by the well-heeled crowd of contemporary art glass collectors, philanthropists, artists and just plain party-goers that filled the Westin’s ballroom, raucously bidding on the more than 360 glass works, in between bites of a five-course dinner with paired wines.

The bids were generous, partly because all monies raised benefit Pilchuck’s educational and artistic programs (Pilchuck School, a leading force in the world of glass art, was founded in 1971 by glass artist Dale Chihuly and patrons Anne Gould Hauberg and John H. Hauberg.) but also because there was an incredible selection of glass art available, ranging from talented young artists to world renowned masters.

Above is a picture of one of the120 centerpieces designed by renowned Czech artist Jiří Harcuba, who worked with a team of 30 artists at Pilchuck’s Stanwood campus this spring to create unique pieces that merge his expressionistic style of figurative engraving with the vessel form. After a few glasses of wine, I bid on our centerpiece but on my paltry little writer’s salary, I didn’t stand a chance. However, I discovered one newbie artist who’s work I really liked so I’m saving my money for next year. In the meantime, Pilchuck holds many exciting events throughout the year so check their website frequently.

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