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Phoenix Award Committee presents glass artist with Phoenix Award

7 January 1999: Dale Chihuly, world renowned glass artist and teacher, accepted the coveted Phoenix Award from David Defibaugh, Phoenix Award Committee Chairman, at the 18 September award ceremony hel…

7 January 1999: Dale Chihuly, world renowned glass artist and teacher, accepted the coveted Phoenix Award from David Defibaugh, Phoenix Award Committee Chairman, at the 18 September award ceremony held in the Chihuly Studio Boathouse, Seattle, Washington (US). Mr. Defibaugh explained that Mr. Chihuly received the prestigious award for his ability to use all of the properties of glass to create his masterful art forms, as well as his worldwide influence on young aspiring glass artists. During his acceptance speech, Mr. Chihuly told the Phoenix Award Committee members and their guests that his interest in glass as a young artist was immediately heightened when he realized its versatility. He spoke at length about his developing career, beginning as an understudy to Harvey Littleton at the University of Wisconsin, and the progression of events that led him to undertake projects around the globe, including his original creative installations in Venice, Italy, and more recently, in Sydney, Australia. As founder of the Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington, Mr. Chihuly expressed his appreciation of art patrons John H. Hauberg and Anne Gould Hauberg, through whose generosity many young people were given the opportunity to attend Pilchuck. He spoke with pride of the hundreds of students worldwide who studied with artists of all disciplines, including renowned glass artists, and noted that “these students are tomorrow“s stars.” Mr. Chihuly has been credited with turning Seattle into “a mecca for glassblowers”, second only in importance to Venice, Italy. As a result of the Chihuly influence, Seattle is home to more than 80 hot shops (glass studios) where thousands of talented glass artists perfect their craft of teamwork glassblowing, a practice derived from Chihuly“s influence, which he learned as an observer in the Venice shops. Presently, Mr. Chihuly has been working with the citizens of Tacoma, Washington, to develop the International Glass Museum. The museum will house glass artists“ works from around the world, contain a working hot shop, and house film-making studios. Known as “Tacoma“s favourite son”, Dale Chihuly has co-designed with architect, Arthur Andersson, the Chihuly Bridge of Glass. This 600-foot long pedestrian bridge spanning six lanes of traffic over Interstate 705, will feature Chihuly art work, with the installation leading to the International Glass Museum. It will be one of the most original public tributes to Chihuly“s genius. Anticipated completion date of this endeavour is 2001. Not only is Mr. Chihuly an institution in the state of Washington, but he has been honoured nationally for his glass genius, being recognized virtually every year of his career, beginning in 1964 to his present award as the 1998 Phoenix Award recipient. His brilliant masterpieces appear in hundreds of museums around the world, in both private and public collections and in architectural installations. In his closing remarks, Mr. Chihuly expressed his gratitude to the Phoenix Award Committee for selecting him to be honoured as the first artist/teacher to receive the Phoenix Award. As the 28th recipient, Mr. Chihuly was presented with the sculpted Steuben glass replica of the mythical Phoenix bird rising out of flames.

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