Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 27, 2024

Media Contacts:

Cory O’Born, Visit Seattle
(330) 267-9669 | [email protected]   

Mary Catherine Frantz, Chihuly Garden and Glass
(818) 281-7416 | [email protected] 

Visit Seattle and Chihuly Garden and Glass Highlight “Blown Away” Contestants at the 6th Annual Refract Glass Art Festival  

The nation’s premiere glass art festival returns October 17-20, 2024

SEATTLEAttendees will be blown away this year at Refract: The Seattle Glass Experience, running Oct. 17-20, 2024. Now in its sixth year, the anticipation is heating up for a weekend of stunning exhibitions, parties for mingling with artists and collectors, exclusive studio tours, and live demonstrations. The event offers a unique opportunity to engage with dozens of local glass artists – from reality tv stars to newly rising Seattle talents – each showcasing why Seattle is recognized as the nation’s largest hub of glass art. 

“We are honored to have seen Refract grow since its beginnings and to bring a new exhibition of exceptional art from the Blown Away winners into the city this year,” said Michelle Bufano, Executive Director at Chihuly Garden and Glass. “Our goal is for guests visiting from around the world to remember Seattle for this city’s exceptional glass artists. Highlighting those artists continues the longstanding commitment of Chihuly Garden and Glass to enrich Seattle Center with vibrant creativity.”  

“Shows like reality competition ‘Blown Away’ have brought glass art further into the mainstream than ever before, and it’s no surprise that a number of contestants each season have hailed from the Seattle region, where the highest concentration of American glass artists resides,” says Tracey Wickersham, Senior Director of Cultural Tourism for Visit Seattle. “The exhibition showcasing some of the show’s contestants is just one of many diverse events on offer during Refract, but it provides us with the perfect opportunity to draw fans of the show and reveal to them the wider world of glass art found in Seattle, from neon and fused glass to blown works and beyond.” 

Refract programming will feature a wide variety of styles, artists, and locations across Seattle and neighboring cities, including Everett, Bainbridge Island, Issaquah, and Tacoma.  

More than 90 events will feature the works of 70+ talented artists. As a testament to Visit Seattle and Chihuly Garden and Glass’ commitment to making the festival accessible to all art enthusiasts, much of the programming continues to be free. 

Details of the festival’s exciting lineup can be found on the official website, RefractSeattle.org. 

 Highlights for this year include: 

  • New exhibitions include works by “Blown Away” Season 4 Grand Prize winner Morgan Peterson and Challenge winners Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen and Gemma Hollister. Additionally, the Seattle Art Museum is debuting a new exhibit, “Joyce J. Scott: Walk a Mile in My Dreams” and Kait Rhoads is the featured artist at METHOD, showcasing a large community project called Proto Kelp. 
  • Returning for the second year, a shuttle service provided by Tours Northwest will transport visitors to and from numerous private artist studios across Seattle, bringing attendees directly to the art and giving them the chance to meet the artists.* 
  • Events and parties, including Gather: The Official Opening Party* (Oct. 17 at Chihuly Garden and Glass), Pilchuck Glass School’s 45th Annual Auction & Gala* (Oct. 19 at Fremont Studios), and a free museum open house featuring gallery tours, performances, demos, and more (Oct. 18 at Seattle Art Museum).
  • Exclusive tours and access to artist studios, including the rare and coveted opportunity to tour The Boathouse, Dale Chihuly’s private studio and hotshop* (Oct. 17); Refract Artist Open Studios featuring 20 typically private locations across Seattle (Oct. 19-20); a guided tour of the outstanding public glass art at SEA Airport* (Oct. 17); and more.
  • Artist demonstrations, including daily demos at Seattle Glassblowing Studio with artists like James Mongrain, Manolo Aguilera, and Minhi England; live demos of 3D printing and kiln casting glass at the private studio of Milo Snyder; neon bending demos at Radiant Neon; plus, the City of Shoreline is hosting live demos by Indigenous artist Dan Friday throughout the weekend.  

* Denotes ticketed or RSVP-required event. Visit RefractSeattle.org to secure your spot and see the full list of programs and events. 

Seattle area hotels offer convenient, central access to all these events and more. Accommodation recommendations will be shared soon on RefractSeattle.org.
  

Images for media use can be found here.
  

About Refract: The Seattle Glass Experience
Visit Seattle, Chihuly Garden and Glass, and more than 60 Pacific Northwest arts organizations are joining together for this annual festival, taking place October 17-20, 2024. This year’s festival offers a unique mix of in-person shows, demonstrations, parties, and exhibitions, alongside virtual programming options. Visit RefractSeattle.org for further details.  

About Visit Seattle
Visit Seattle has served as the official destination marketing organization (DMO) for Seattle and King County for more than 50 years. A 501(c)(6) organization, Visit Seattle enhances the economic prosperity of the region through global destination branding along with competitive programs and campaigns in leisure travel marketing, convention sales, and overseas tourism development. Visit visitseattle.org. 

About Chihuly Garden and Glass
Located at Seattle Center, Chihuly Garden and Glass brings together all the elements of artist Dale Chihuly’s work, including drawings, signature glass series, large architectural installations, and personal collections. This long-term exhibition features indoor galleries, the centerpiece Glasshouse, and an ever-changing Garden, along with live glass demonstrations, a Theatre, and The Bar, offering unique cocktails and light bites surrounded by Dale Chihuly’s collections. Learn more at chihulygardenandglass.com. 

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