Museum of Glass hopes university students will ‘gather’ for free event

Posted on Nov 14 2013 - 7:20pm by Leah Traxel

University students, free food, alcohol, glass, expensive artwork, and blow torches. For some, these are things that should never go together.  For the Museum of Glass, it’s a list of what will be present at their student event, Gather.

The event, which takes place on Nov. 22 from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., hopes to draw university students to the Museum for a free night of fun and culture.  The regular galleries will be open for students to wander, there will be free food and drinks, and a bar will be selling alcoholic beverages to of-age attendees.

The University Student Museum Advisory Committee helped organize the event, and five PLU students are part of it, including senior Jenny Tillman.5054743619_23f38392b0_o

“The Museum of Glass was interested in engaging university students,” Tillman said of the committee and the motivation behind the event. “They really want to have more of the young community coming out and seeing what kind of things the Pacific Northwest art scene has to offer for them and how cool it really is.”

The 11-year-old museum is a Tacoma staple, with features such as the Chihuly Bridge of Glass, which spans Interstate 705 and Dock Street, and the landmark conical fixture.

The silver, off-center cone houses the museum’s Hot Shop, a fully-functioning glass blowing studio.  Glass blowing is the technique of heating glass until it is malleable, then blowing air into the middle like a balloon.  Visitors to the Museum can see this happen during regular Museum hours, when visiting artists are almost always working.  At Gather, students who pre-register will be able to blow their own glass artwork with the help of some trained staff.  Students can also register for a glass fusing workshop.

The Museum is the brainchild of former University of Puget Sound President Phil Phibbs and glass art phenom Dale Chihuly.  Chihuly was born and raised in Tacoma, and is now world-renowned for his glass artwork, although he doesn’t personally blow the glass anymore.   Students can see some of his work in the tall windows of the Mary Baker Russell Music Center.

While at the Gather event, students will have the opportunity to learn about internships and other opportunities for students at the Museum of Glass.

Last year, Gather’s first, the Museum estimated that 375 students participated.

The Museum is also providing free transportation for students. Shuttles will pick up students in front of Harstad Hall at 6:15 and 7:30, and will take students back at 9:30 and 10:30 p.m.

If you can’t make it to the event, admission is free to university students every Sunday during regular hours.

To RSVP to the event or learn more, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/gatherevent2013.