Submitted by Don Doman
On Tuesday, October 3rd, I attended the Hilltop Artists Better Futures Luncheon. What a lovely way to spend a noon meal. I came in the upstairs entry at the Bi-Centennial Pavilion a few minutes before the main doors were opened below. This gave me a chance to get a nice photo of the glass pumpkins on one of the four tables in the lobby.
Artist students created the pumpkins along with refrigerator magnets, and centerpieces for the dozens of tables set up for the fundraising event.
Each table had a glass centerpiece (lit from below). In creating the centerpieces, the students used canework, which uses rods of glass that add stripes and patterns in glass blowing. Teams used their knowledge of creating round canework to master the art of flat cane, which they used at their August Visiting Artist Residency at the Museum of Glass. The video that was shown during the luncheon illustrated the laying out of rods, fusing them and then rolling/bending/attaching them to the bottom of a cylinder. It looked like magic.
On tables around the pavilion were bid sheets for each center piece. Opening bids started at one hundred dollars. I’m guessing that perhaps some didn’t sell, but all the sheets I checked had buyers. I think the most expensive piece was $170.
Visit the website www.hilltopartists.org for more basic and upcoming information. There are a couple of tours coming up this month and a special Winter Glass Sale in early December. During the last year over 650 students created, collaborated, and belonged at Hilltop Artists. Tacoma Public Schools and Hilltop Artists are using glass art to connect young people from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds to better futures. Art is a wonderful tool.
Program speakers were fairly quick. I had met the Executive Director, Dr Kimberly Keith soon after the doors were opened. She was dancing with herself in front of friends. I love it. She has a nice smile. Ability and joy makes a nice package. Four students were recognized and told their stories. The audience enjoyed their tales of effort and achievement. My table captain was LaTasha Wortham. It looked like most tables were full. I was glad to see such support for art. Glass art is so special. It can take almost any form. Glass captures light, bends it, and blends it. I saw many of my friends at the gathering. My wife, Peg and I have glass art on our breakfast table and on our baby grand piano both are by east facing windows. The morning light brings a different joy each day. Each piece almost has its own friendly smile.