Norfolk, Virginia is growing in the world of glass art. There are many opportunities to view magnificent pieces, from working artists’ studios at d’Art Center and glass demonstrations at the Perry Glass Studio to a beautiful Tiffany glass collection at the Chrysler Museum of Art and guided tours through the NEON District. Art is limitless in Norfolk, and the glass is always half full.
Chrysler Museum of Art
This art museum is home to one of the largest and most comprehensive glass collections in the world spanning over 3,000 years. One of the most notable collections is their glass art exhibit which kick-started Norfolk’s glass culture. This exhibit consists of 10,000 pieces that are undoubtedly extraordinary and range from small, single-colored vases to intricate wine goblets, flasks, ribbed bowls and mosaic cups circa the 1st century B.C!
Perry Glass Studio
The Perry Glass Studio brings the Chrysler Museum of Art’s internationally-acclaimed glass collection to life by showing how these masterpieces were created. Free glass demos are held Tuesday through Sunday at noon. The studio also offers workshops for beginners to advanced levels.
Barry Art Museum at Old Dominion University
The museum focuses on glass pieces from internationally renowned artists such as Dale Chihuly, Lino Tagliapietra, Howard Ben Tré, Dan Dailey, Ginny Ruffner, Michael Glancy, Laura Donefer, Stanislav Libensky, Jaroslava Brychtova and the founder of the American studio glass movement, Harvey Littleton. Glass art has been and is currently a male-dominated field. Because of this, The Barry Art Museum takes great pride in showcasing multiple pieces of glass art designed by women.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Built in 1739, St. Paul’s Church is Norfolk’s oldest building and the only structure to survive the British destruction of the city on New Year’s Day, 1776. Featuring a Tiffany-stained glass window, the church retains an active parish to this day. Visitors may tour the churchyard and cemetery at any time. The interior is open from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and guided tours are available upon request.
The NEON District
Norfolk’s first official arts district, the NEON District is home to a new wave of passion, creativity and unique cultural experiences all in Downtown Norfolk. Within a few short blocks, you can see a muralist at work, take in an improv comedy performance at Push Comedy Theater, watch a live glass-working demonstration, shop for the newest gear or dine out at an eclectic restaurant. The NEON district is an experience you can’t miss when visiting Norfolk.
Located in the NEON District, d’ART Center is a unique attraction providing an environment where working artists are a part of an interactive community. d’Art is home to professional visual artists who display and sell original works of art on site. A resident artist, Cathy-Jo Ramsey is known for her lampwork and Kiln glasswork as well as her signature lampworked oysters. The interactive concept crosses socioeconomic lines and bridges the gap between the artist and the art, making the creative process and the visual arts come alive.
Glass Light Hotel & Gallery, Autograph Collection
Stay in Downtown Norfolk surrounded by the beauty of glass in the Glass Light Hotel & Gallery. This boutique hotel and art gallery are in a building reimagined from its 1912 heritage. On display are works of glass art by world-renowned artists such as Peter Bremers and Lino Tagliapietra. There are about 60 pieces of glass art on display, whose features pay tribute to the glass-making process. For example, tall, wooden, elongated slats are the backdrop to the welcome desk which represent the wooden tools used during the sculpting process.
Glass Light Gallery
Attached to the Glass Light Hotel is the Glass Light Gallery. The gallery is made up of 65 small and life-sized pieces of glass art. While this art is the private collection of the Perry family, new glass exhibits and artists are rotated throughout the year.
Freemason Abbey Restaurant
The building where this restaurant is housed was once a church and dates back to 1873, making it one of the oldest establishments in the city. The restaurant’s stained-glass windows are stunning works of art and are original to the building. Freemason Abbey’s historic presence combined with its decadent, comforting Southern seafood cuisine is the perfect place to enjoy local dishes!
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