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Who needs NYC when we have Tacoma?

Post by Craig Sailor / The News Tribune on June 26, 2008 at 11:09 pm with No Comments »
June 26, 2008 11:09 pm

I was in New York a few weeks ago and crammed in as much art as I could.

I caught the Whitney Biennial and a few galleries (one word: Moss) but it was at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum where I found parallels to and coincidences with Tacoma’s art scenes.

Perched as if the slightest breeze might take it away, Jeff Koons’ "Balloon Dog (Yellow)" sits on the roof of the Met. Clearly, the 10-foot steel sculpture was the Met’s version of Tacoma Art Museum’s Leroy.

Meanwhile, across 5th Avenue at the Cooper-Hewitt, a Rococo show took up most of the gallery space. They did a nice job of explaining the beginnings of that French art style and even show examples of its modern practitioners. One of them: Dale Chihuly, apparently. One of his sconces was in the exhibit, not far from a Louis Comfort Tiffany. I listened in as a docent explained the art. "Do you know Chihuly?" the guide asked one of the museum goers. "Well, yes. But, not personally," he replied.

Overwhelmed by exuberance I took a trip to the museum’s garden for a break and came face to face with a mobile hot shop. How did the Museum of Glass get this to NYC from Tacoma?

Turns out it was the Corning Museum of Glass’ GlassLab.

I talked with MOG’s director of communications Julie Pisto today. As far as she knows, Corning’s and MOG’s are the only full scale mobile hot shops operating in the country.

Which makes it even more amazing to stumble upon MOG’s counterpart without even looking for it.

New York may be a big city but it’s a small (art) world afterall.

Next week I’ll blog on where MOG’s mobile hot shop has been and where it’s headed to this summer.

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