Ginny Ruffner’s What If? @ Bainbridge Island Museum of Art
Shining, shimmery glass work 🦢
Published October 14, 2022
On display until February 28th
Seattle artist and Pilchuck Glass School teacher Ginny Ruffner has been a world-renowned figure in the glass scene for over four decades. Most known for her painted lampwork sculptures, Ruffner’s pieces are intricate and whimsical in form, often taking inspiration from nature. Like her 2006 sculpture “Unseen Art History, Pt.1 Swing,” which references Fragonard’s luscious painting but recontextualizes it on an easel made of glass. In the more recent years of her career, Ruffner has continued experimenting with different mediums, incorporating augmented reality into her glass pieces. Even if you’ve never seen her work in a gallery, you might’ve stumbled on her public works—like this twisted aluminum bench in Olympic Sculpture Park or the 30-foot-tall flower pot sculpture downtown. She’s got range!
Just a short jaunt across the briny Elliott Bay, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art is putting on Ruffner’s first retrospective. What If? spans several mediums that Ruffner works in—cast glass, metal sculptures, public art, AR pieces. Visitors will have the chance to see Project Aurora, Ruffner’s enormous new work. The two-story piece, placed in a giant window of the museum, is made of sheets of light that mimic the Aurora Borealis. It’s so big and bright that I’ve heard you can see it from way outside the museum, like a piece of sky waving quietly inside the museum.
📸: Ginny Ruffner | BIMA