Despite the challenging economic climate, the Pilchuck Glass School managed to raise $1.14 million, almost matching the $1.2 million raised in 2010. On the evening of October 14th, 2011, the 650 attendees at the Westin in downtown Seattle put aside the recent bad news from the stock markets to focus on the 40th anniversary of a unique glass school, and they showed their appreciation by bidding high on more than 350 works of glass art donated by top-tier and up-and-coming artists alike.
“The generosity of all those who contributed to the event will impact the lives of hundreds of artists working in glass in this country and around the world,” Pilchuck executive director Jim Baker said in a prepared statement. “The success of tonight’s event demonstrates this community’s commitment to quality arts education.” Pilchuck’s annual gala, the largest regularly-scheduled glass auction in the world, is a primary source of the school’s operating budget.
A bidding war broke out over Dale Chihuly’s Silvered Soft Cylinder with Tangerine Lip Wrap which sold for $46,000 (significantly above its estimate), while an acrylic painting by Chihuly associate, the late Italo Scanga, titled Angel With Child went for four times its estimate. Other highlights of the bidding included William Morris’ Stone Vessel that sold for $16,000 more than its at $10,000 estimate for a total of $26,000.