SEATTLE - The future of Seattle Center's Fun Forest is a little clearer and maybe a lot more colorful. It closes for good later this year, and could reopen with something brand new and uniquely Northwest.
It is a Tacoma icon, the Museum of Glass and its 90-foot-tall, stainless steel hot shop, where you can take in daily demonstrations of the creative process. It's a destination for Dale Chihuly fans who want to be inspired.
"People can see how artists work in glass and that is real seductive in itself," says museum director Tim Close.
Dale Chihuly is one of Tacoma's favorite sons. His work is featured along a 500-foot-long pedestrian bridge, encased in window frames and seen above. A glass ceiling holds 2700 Chihuly pieces. But his influence is always on the move.
It could soon show up in Seattle in a big way. Chihuly and Wright Art, LLC are in talks to open a Chihuly Center on the site of the old Fun Forest.
"I think if you were to suggest to Dale that this was a museum they could cringe. It's a way of putting the art in unique and different exhibits," said Robert Nellams, Seattle Center director.
But Tacoma has become all but synonomous with Chihuly and glass art. Museum of Glass director Tim Close is prepared to share the wealth, even if it is with Seattle.
"I think naturally we'd like it in Tacoma, but we're going to be supportive of Dale and we'll see how it goes," he said.
And if all goes as planned, we could see Dale Chihuly at Seattle Center sometime next year.