Dale Chihuly Named Recipient of Visionary Award

2016 Smithsonian Craft Show

Smithsonian Craft Show co-chairs Sue Beddow and Amy Meadows announced today that world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly has been named the recipient of the prestigious 2016 Visionary Award.  This annual honor recognizes an artist who has achieved distinction in the field of sculptural arts and design, whose works are in major museums, and who has demonstrated distinction, creativity, artistry and vision in his/her artistic field.

Although Mr. Chihuly will not be able to attend the Preview Night reception on April 20, 2016, Mr. Chihuly wrote Smithsonian Secretary David Skorton, “I feel so honored to have such a great history with the Smithsonian and to have been selected…as this year’s recipient of the Craft Show Visionary Award…It means a great deal to be recognized by the Smithsonian community—thank you so much for presenting me with this prestigious award.” 

As a tribute to Mr. Chihuly, the 2016 Craft Show will feature a special installation of 12 Chihuly Macchia works.  These organic, exuberantly colored glass pieces are part of a series started in 1981 and have never before been on display in Washington, DC.  The Macchia works, on loan from Arthur and Paulette Wiener’s private collection, will be displayed in the central atrium of the National Building Museum.


chihuly macchia

Macchia – Dale Chihuly

Watch our interview with 2015 craft show artist Michael Puryear!

More interviews with craft show artists can be viewed by going to the “Craft Show Videos” drop down menu.

Craft Show Videos

“Conversations with Smithsonian Craft Show Artists,” is a special series of eight video shorts highlighting American craft artists who have participated in Smithsonian Craft Shows, past and present.

The 2-minute videos which showcase the highest standard of craft artists in America, reveal to the public the artists’ philosophy, their relationship to their work, and the importance of the Smithsonian Craft Show. The eight conversations will be launched on the  Smithsonian Craft Show website:  SmithsonianCraftShow.org over the next 3 months.  The artists are:  Michael Puryear, furniture maker; Aaron Macsai, jeweler; Clifford Lee, ceramicist, Lisa Zerkowitz, glass artist; Mary Jackson; basket maker; Eric Seritella, ceramicist; Matthew Fine, glass; Randall Darwall, wearable art.

All eight of these artists have been juried into multiple Smithsonian Craft Shows over the past 34 years.