What to see at Refract: The Seattle Glass Experience

The fourth annual event has exhibits, demos, and cocktail parties

Glass artist Edgar Valentine wields a shaping tool as he works on a new sculpture.

Tacoma-born Edgar Valentine has been making handblown glass art since he was 12.

Photo courtesy of Refract

Full transparency for local art lovers — the fourth annual edition of Refract: The Seattle Glass Experience is about to blow into town.

From Thurs., Oct.13-Sun., Oct. 16, there will be exhibitions, hands-on experiences, demos, studio tours + par-tays galore — all based around glass art, which has been huge in the city for decades. Just watch out where you dip your chips... that bowl could be priceless.

Refract will feature 50 organizations + 70 artists across the four days, but we’ve got a few precious highlights that you’ll want to circle as you venture through the looking glass.

Learn something new 💡

Pacific Northwest: Glass Mecca | Thurs., Oct. 13 | 10-11 a.m. | Virtual | $20 | If you want to know how Seattle developed its reputation as “the American Venice” with hundreds of glass studios + creative visionaries, curator Jodie Nelson will give a comprehensive history lesson.

Native Voices | Fri., Oct. 14 | 5-9 p.m. | Seattle Glass Blowing Studio, 2227 Fifth Ave. | Free | The opening reception for this exhibit featuring Native and Indigenous glass artists features a live demo from Dan Friday — a contestant on Netflix’s “Blown Away.”

Sip + mingle 🍸

Gather: Opening Night Party | Thurs., Oct. 13 | 6:30-9 p.m. | Chihuly Garden and Glass | $45 | Gawk at all the cool, tentacled sculptures from famed artist Dale Chihuly as you chat with fellow enthusiasts, nibble on some bites + enjoy cocktails.

Refract Passports | Sat., Oct. 15-Sun., Oct. 16 | All participating open studios | Various times | Free | Visit at least four smaller art studios across the festival and get a passport stamped to win prizes like a glass vase, jewel-toned floats, or a votive.

Get immersed 🥽

#NaughtyByNature | Fri., Oct. 14-Sat., Oct. 15 | 12-4 p.m. | Method Gallery, 106 Third Ave. S. | Free | Cartoon bird mating calls + strange artifacts from the lair of an amateur inventor named Dr. Snuffy? Yeah, this interactive exhibit is extra.

Glassblowing Lessons | Thurs., Oct. 13 + Sat., Oct. 15-Sun., Oct. 16 | Various times | Seattle Glassblowing Studio, 2227 Fifth Ave. |$70+ | Getting glassy-eyed inspo? Learn how to make a fancy pumpkin, sea float, or bubble bowl by appointment: 206-448-2181.

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