Nao Yamamoto at Seattle Glassblowing Studio during Refract | Megan Swann Photography

Although it is a relatively young genre in the United States, glass art has flourished in the Pacific Northwest. With unrivaled breadth and depth of talent, the region has become the recognized hub of glass art in the country, dubbed the “American Venice.” Now, for the third year, the artists and organizations who put the region on the map invite you to learn about what makes this community special. 

Held October 14-17, 2021, Refract offers unparalleled access to emerging artists and master glassmakers who laid the groundwork for this vibrant glass scene. Programming over the four days reflects the diverse offerings of the region’s glass community with exhibitions, art parties, open studio tours, demonstrations, and more.

Over the weekend, get up close to the magic of molten glass during live demonstrations, including an event led by Indigenous artists Raya Friday (Lummi Nation) and Tim Charles (Cowichan Tribe). They will hot sculpt designs submitted by locals, which will be added to the City of Shoreline’s public art collection. Or join an exclusive tour of Dante Marioni’s studio, hosted by Traver Gallery. Marioni has worked in the space for more than 35 years, creating what has been called the purest of classical forms executed in glass by an American glassblower. Go beyond the traditional and explore an innovative subculture of glass art at Gallery Mack’s new exhibition, Lit Fun, which combines two unique corners of the glass art scene: neon and pipemaking.

With events appropriate for curious newcomers, long-time collectors, and anyone in between, Refract is a can’t-miss opportunity to explore the magic and depths of a truly fascinating material.

For a full list of in-person and online programming, links to ticketed and free events, or to book a stay with an official Refract Hotel Partner offering a unique package tied to the festival, visit RefractSeattle.org.

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