Northwest glass works shine at new exhibit

As part of a series focusing on the works of Pacific Northwest artists, the Washington State University Museum of Art will present the exhibit “Joey Kirkpatrick and Flora Mace” from Feb. 22-April 3.

An opening reception and lecture by the artists will begin at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 21, in the museum’s gallery and Fine Arts Center auditorium.

Kirkpatrick and Mace are best known for large-scale still life arrangements of realistic glass fruit and vegetables, as well as wood and glass figurative sculptures. The pair began collaborating in 1979 after meeting at the Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Wash. There, they studied under Dale Chihuly, whom many consider the founding father of modern glass sculpture.

In their collaborations, Kirkpatrick defines the concept of the work and draws it up, while Mace focuses primarily on the complex technical issues related to creating the physical object, said Keith Wells, curator of the Museum of Art/WSU.

“Their work is the essence of true art,” said Chris Bruce, director of the Museum of Art/WSU. “They take an extremely difficult technical process and make it look easy; they take simple forms and create objects of wonder and beauty.”

The two have lectured and taught extensively throughout the world. Kirkpatrick is a trustee at the Pilchuck Glass School. Their work is included in collections and museums around the world including the Corning Museum of Glass in New York; the Detroit Institute of Art; Hokkaido Museum, Japan; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Lausanne, Switzerland; and the Seattle Art Museum.

Funding for this exhibit and program is provided by the Samuel H. and Patricia W. Smith Arts Endowment Fund, Duff and Dorothy Kennedy, and the Friends of the Museum of Art/WSU. Visit the WSU museum website at

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