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A journey into the deep at MOG

Exhibit looks at the sea through glass

Kelly O’Dell gets ready to add a glass barnacle to her clam sculpture in the museum Hot Shop. She is assisted by Raven Skyriver and Hot Shop team member Sarah Gilbert. Photo by Alex Grummer, courtesy Museum of Glass

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The newest exhibition at Museum of Glass is "Into the Deep," an exhibition of glass art that, according to a nicely worded press release, "connects the fragile beauty of marine environments to the delicate nature of glass." That statement was written either by communications manager Alex Carr or assistant curator Katie Buckingham, who said no other art media is so perfect as glass for creating the look of undersea life. Try scuba diving and see what light does to kelp, coral, fish and everything else to be found underwater, and the truth of that statement becomes obvious.

"Into the Deep" features some 55 works of art by 16 nationally and internationally known artists. The front galleries of the museum are filled with fish, octopi, kelp, seaweed, crustaceans and barnacles that seem to wave and undulate in the murky depths and shine in the diffracted sunlight that penetrates the deep.

Among the artists included in the show are Alfredo Barbini, Dale Chihuly, Shayna Leib, Kelly O'Dell, Kait Rhoads, Raven Skyriver, and Hiroshi Yamono.

Many of the works are realistic, such as Skyriver's "Tyee," a lifelike salmon balanced on a metal rod with sparkling silver scales and a transparency near the tail that exposes depths upon depths of subtly silvery color changes, while others are more abstract, creating the feel more than the look of the underwater world, such as Taliaferro Jones' "Undulation," three translucent slabs of glass representing ocean waves. They stand side-by-side with a slight overlap so that as viewers walk around it they see many changes in the blue.

In addition to the artwork to be seen, there are three digital tours. The first, written by University of Washington-Tacoma biologist Bonnie Becker, offers a scientific supplement to the art. Another shows how specific pieces in the show were made (many were created in the MOG Hot Shop), and the other one includes information about each of the featured artists and their personal connections to the ocean.

There will also be educational and entertaining programs connected to the exhibition.

Saturday, Oct. 1, Professor Beck will present "How Art Helps Us Understand Invertebrates and How Invertebrate's Make Great Art."

Family Fun Day: Grateful Gourds will be Saturday, Oct. 12. Attendees will make beaded pumpkins under the guidance of artist Jennifer Adams and will be entertained by the Tacoma Banjo Club.

There will be a "Zoology of Glass Art Tour" Oct. 20 and Nov. 17.  Nov. 16-20 visiting artist Kait Rhoads will be in the Hot Shop, and in the spring will be "Kids Design Glass in the Hot Shop." Detailed information on programs can be found online at

"Into the Deep," Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., through September 2017, admission $5-$15, free to members, free Third Thursday, Museum of Glass, 1801 Dock St., Tacoma, 866.468.7386, 

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