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In 1957, military service member and Tacoma native George Chihuly was killed in a Navy training accident. His parents and his 16-year-old brother were devastated.
Not much about Georges death would be different from the circumstances of other families who lose one of their own except that Georges brother, Dale, would grow up to be one of the most successful and influential glass sculptors of all time.
The loss of his brother is what inspired Dale Chihuly to suggest a military appreciation day at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, set for the Presidents Day holiday on Monday, Feb. 18, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission and activities will be offered free of charge to military ID card holders and their families.
This is a wonderful partnership between the Museum of Glass, Chihuly Studios and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, said Museum of Glass executive director Susan Warner.
As a college student, Dale spent some time in the Middle East and Europe, interrupting his interior design and architecture studies at the University of Washington.
I remember working in Israel and it had a huge impact on me, Dale said. I felt like I went from being a boy to a man in that short period of time.
Now, as one of the founders of the Museum of Glass, he delights in sharing his work and the work of other glass artists from all over the world.
In addition to the many items on display at the museum, including four new exhibits that just recently opened, visitors will be able to learn the art of bead working with a glass rod and torch and create their own glass beads. Activities also include a fusing class where individuals can create a unique glass tile or two pendants by combining colorful glass shards and other materials. The Hot Shop Amphitheatre will be open for guests to watch a glassblowing demonstration by Dale and his team.
Guests will also receive a Museum of Glass gift bag, which includes Chihulys latest book, Chihuly Garden and Glass. The catalog highlights pieces located in downtown Seattle at the Seattle Center and other Chihuly works. Availability of gift bags is one per family while supplies last.
"I'm really looking forward to this military appreciation day event for JBLM military and their families and am honored to be able to present this day of glassblowing in partnership with the Museum of Glass," Chihuly said.
If you go
What: Military Appreciation Day athe Museum of Glass
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Feb. 18 (Presidents Day holiday)
Where: 1801 Dock St., Tacoma
Cost: Free to military ID card holders and families
More online: For tickets to activity sessions, visit www.jblmmwr.com/mogmilappday/, or register by calling the Museum of Glass at 284-4750.