Amazing Art Glass Galleries and Museums
On what’s known as Florida’s Glass Coast, marvel at mind-blowing creations, then try your hand at making a piece of art glass.
Art glass is a sight to behold, from swirling abstract creations to fantastically shaped sea creatures and immense blooming flowers. See beautiful works in art glass galleries and museums in St. Pete/Clearwater.
Chihuly Collection & Morean Glass Studio
Glass whimsy abounds on an impressive scale at the Chihuly Collection, located in the 700 block of Central Avenue in downtown St. Pete. This gallery presents a breathtaking permanent collection of Dale Chihuly, regarded as a pioneer in the studio glass movement. Guests are greeted by a 20-foot sculpture created just for the site, and in fact, the entire building is designed specifically to highlight his glass art.
Marvel at fantastical creations and towering installations that range from sea creatures and tumbleweeds to gardens of glass and surreal seascapes. Don’t forget to look up – the stunning ceiling of glass shouldn’t be missed. Though not timed, tickets must be purchased in advance. Top Tip: Tickets include admission to the nearby Morean Glass Studio.
Just across the street from the Chihuly Collection, the Morean Glass Studio offers the opportunity to watch resident glass artists hard at work in the hot shop (it’s appropriately named!). Learn about the centuries-old craft as they melt the glass in the furnace, blow and shape the molten glass and then carefully cool it in the kiln – all while blasting high-energy music.
The biggest draw at Morean? The year-round classes, where experts teach locals and visitors the art of glassblowing and flameworking. The classes are aimed at all ages and skill levels, from one-time classes to more advanced weeks-long sessions and seasonal classes for making glass art like pumpkins and holiday ornaments. Top Tip: All the artist residents’ one-of-a-kind art glass pieces, including decorative bowls, vases, jewelry and more, are for sale in the adjacent glass shop.
Duncan McClellan Gallery
Glass connoisseurs won’t want to miss the Duncan McClellan Gallery, in St. Pete’s Warehouse Arts District. This expansive gallery is a jewel box bursting with exquisite art glass for sale and rotating exhibitions by global artists. At the on-property hot shop, the public can watch the pros making their glass masterpieces on certain days of the month. Entry is free, but donations are accepted. Top Tip: Stroll the gardens to see fruit trees and more spectacular art installations and sculptures, some of them hidden among tropical plants.
Looking for another opportunity to learn the basics of glassblowing and hand-craft something beautiful? Check out the affiliated, nonprofit DMG School Project. During a 45-minute, one-on-one class, you’ll create a piece of hand-blown glass under the direction of a highly skilled instructor.
For a mind-expanding display of contemporary art glass in a wide range of styles, shapes and colors, step inside the blue-hued Imagine Museum in St. Pete’s Grand Central District. Discover two floors filled with more than 1,500 works by contemporary American and international artists. The first floor houses rotating galleries and American Masters, while the second floor features international selections and the “Journey of the Imagination” galleries.
To dig deeper into the history of glass and the museum’s collection, take a 30-minute tour (it’s offered periodically and included with admission). Kids will love taking part in the daily scavenger hunts, searching for glass animals hidden throughout the museum. Top Tip: Visit after 5 p.m. on Thursdays to snag $5 admission tickets.
For something truly unique, visit Katglass Studio in Clearwater, a stained-glass studio where they specialize in intricate stained glass. Take a class to create ready-to-wear jewelry pendants, mosaic trays and Tiffany-style panels using the glass of your choosing.
Marlene Rose Gallery
Also in Clearwater, the Marlene Rose Gallery is where the award-winning sculptor displays her awe-inspiring artwork. Rose is one of only a handful of artists who use the ancient technique called sand-casting. In her gallery, discover her signature pieces including Buddha heads, butterflies and African art.
Zen Glass Studio & Gallery
The offerings at Zen Glass Studio & Gallery, located in the heart of St. Pete’s Warehouse Arts District, are threefold: Admire the collectible glass art created by co-founders Joshua Poll and David Walker, sign up for the intensive flameworking and glassblowing training program or have fun at a workshop creating paper weights and glass ornaments. Among the most popular workshops is one where you can make a wine glass, champagne flute or martini glass. Top Tip: The studio hosts special events, from unique dinners where the food is cooked primarily on molten glass to evening classes for date nights or girls’ night out.