Glass and the Mayor’s Arts Awards
Every year, through the Office of Arts and Culture, the Mayor’s office recognizes the accomplishments of artists, arts and cultural organizations and community members committed to enriching their communities through the arts with the Mayor’s Arts Awards. Seeing an opportunity to bring attention to the local glass community, Chihuly Garden and Glass partnered with the Office of Arts and Culture in 2015 and funded the creation of the awards. Emerging glass artist Manuel Castro was tapped to develop five glass works to be presented to the honored artists.
Originally from Washington D.C., Castro has been blowing glass in the Seattle area for nearly two decades. He was first introduced to the art of glassblowing at Pratt Fine Arts Center in 1998 and later began to work with glass artist Luca Rattazzi as part of the Manifesto glass team—a premiere glass studio in Seattle. In addition, he was also part of world-renowned artist Lino Tagliapietra’s Seattle glassblowing team. The opportunity for Castro to work with Tagliapietra, a living maestro (masterglassblower), instilled a deep passion and respect for traditional glassblowing techniques.
“My exposure to artists and glass art organizations allowed me to hone my skills and comprehension of glassblowing,” said Castro. I wanted my partnership on The Mayor’s award to not only give recognitionto the artists, but to also stimulate inventiveness. The glass disk with over lapping lines has a small window in the center enabling the eye to physically look through the sculpture.”
Following the success of 2015, Chihuly Garden and Glass and the Office of Arts and Culture will continuethe partnership into the future. The collaboration will ensure the Pacific Northwest’s great tradition ofglass will play a role in one of Seattle’s most revered arts events.