MalPina Chans Looking Back, part of Northwest Craft Centers recent show Blossom: Develop.Mature.Thrive.
  • MalPina Chan's Looking Back, part of Northwest Craft Center's recent show Blossom: Develop.Mature.Thrive.
Wow, Seattle Center. What are you doing??

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The Chihuly museum, as Cienna Madrid reported, will no longer include a gallery to support other Northwest artists. In addition to that, until city council member Nick Licata nixed it at a meeting yesterday, Seattle Center was pushing to include a non-compete clause in the Chihuly museum's contract—which would have made it impossible for anyone besides Chihuly to sell any glass art on the grounds of Seattle Center.

Now comes word that Seattle Center is kicking out the Northwest Craft Center—after 48 years. Why? "We make changes here with our tenants, and that was one that we made," said spokeswoman Deborah Daoust. Yes, but why? Daoust said she'd have to get back to me Monday with the reasoning since director Robert Nellams is out of town.

"NWCC was hoping to see 50," Coleen Morisaki Jay wrote on the Facebook page of NWCC. "Seattle Center wants the space back for Seattle Center's 'Next 50' celebration. They will use the space for a historical exhibit of the World's Fair in conjunction with MOHAI."

The "Next 50" celebration lasts only a year. Isn't kicking out a historical institution in order to install a historical exhibition a fairly obnoxious way to honor the past?

At the city council meeting, Cienna Madrid remembers council member Tom Rasmussen speaking up to ask: How will the Chihuly museum affect the business of the Northwest Craft Center? Nobody answered.

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Ceramist Rick Mahaffey has been showing at NWCC since the 1980s, and he was hoping to have a show there next year. "While the NWCC was not showing cutting-edge art, it has a history of its own," he wrote in email. About MOHAI, he wrote, "It feels like one nonprofit helping to beat up another."

Meanwhile, this week also brought word that Seattle Center has given Chihuly backers even more space for another Chihuly souvenir shop, in an 850-square-foot store near the Monorail. The souvenir shop will sell small tchotchkes and trinkets—in other words, nothing that the city will see a portion of the profits from.