Chihuly Museum Goes Back on Its Word

Reneges on Promise to Support Local Artists

Chihuly Museum Goes Back on Its Word

Photo by Jurvetson (flickr)

Within a few weeks, the Seattle City Council is expected to approve a lease agreement to develop, construct, and operate a Chihuly glass museum on the Seattle Center campus for the next 30 years. But the $350,000 annual lease will be decidedly different than the deal that was sold to the public last fall.

Back then, museum backers were eager to promise funding for a million-dollar playground on campus, as well as a 1,700-square-foot retail gallery that would showcase other Northwest artists (after the Chihuly museum was criticized as a one-trick pony), to make the controversial private business on public land more palatable.

But now the offer to fund a Northwest artists gallery is off the table. At a city council meeting on April 7, Seattle Center director Robert Nellams said that the Frontier Gallery—which is the space once proposed for the Northwest artists gallery—will remain in place through next year's 50th anniversary celebration of the 1962 World's Fair. Nellams didn't discuss why the Chihuly museum wouldn't be funding the gallery, and Chihuly museum backers did not respond to a request for comment. Seattle Center spokeswoman Deborah Daoust simply said, "I don't really know what happened with the gallery space."

Instead, Nellams has promised that Seattle Center will open a gallery inside the Center House dedicated to selling the work of Pacific Northwest artists—but again, it won't be funded by the museum. Nellams said he hopes the Chihuly museum will open in 2012, in time for the World's Fair celebrations. recommended


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I'm shocked. Shocked! :|
Posted by Cynickal on April 20, 2011 at 11:41 AM · Report this
Texas10R 2
A shrine to Chihuly brand glass products...How did Seattle, for so many years, manage to do without it? Oh's only a thirty minute drive to Tacoma, where Chihuly brand "art" is ubiquitous. Any word on that Starbucks Coffeee Museum, surely soon to sprout next to the Chihuly at Seattle Center?
Posted by Texas10R on April 21, 2011 at 5:14 AM · Report this
camlux 3
Chihuly's "Art" pieces are mere glass droppings. Expensive polished turds that get to be sold to naive tourists in our public space. I despair at the lack of integrity this City Council exhibits.
Posted by camlux on April 21, 2011 at 10:43 AM · Report this
Posted by City Council is Corrupt on April 21, 2011 at 11:40 AM · Report this
I would sooner exhibit a freshly laid steaming coiler in my house than anything Chihuly ever had his interns make for him. (he does nothing on his own)
Posted by Chihuly is yesterdays fad on April 21, 2011 at 11:44 AM · Report this
camlux 6
Chihuly looks like a chubby Mickey Rooney sporting an eyepatch. Can amusement and disgust coexist?
Posted by camlux on April 22, 2011 at 2:02 PM · Report this
Mad-Eye Moody!
Posted by PeasantUnderGlass on April 22, 2011 at 8:16 PM · Report this
Wanda Fooka 8
This story needs to be updated. See the PI/Komo TV story.
Posted by Wanda Fooka on April 22, 2011 at 10:44 PM · Report this
dazednamazed 9
If Chihuly plans to diss local artists and not live up to his word....then up his lease to an annual million to support real local artists!!! Ya know...the local artists that actually CREATE their own work???? He's not worthy to be in Seattle!
Posted by dazednamazed on April 27, 2011 at 12:06 PM · Report this

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