Gallery News


Traver Gallery Celebrates 30th Anniversary

SEATTLE, June 26, 2007 — The Traver Gallery, an internationally recognized leader in the field of contemporary glass and cornerstone of the Seattle arts community, will celebrate its 30th anniversary in September of 2007. To commemorate this important milestone, Traver will host a public reception at its Seattle location on First Thursday, September 6th from 5 – 8 pm.

A large-scale installation by long-time gallery artist and friend, Therman Statom, will be on display from September 7 - 30, along with an exhibition featuring mixed media and glass sculpture by the promising emerging artist, Sean Albert. By presenting Statom and Albert together in honor of the gallery's 30th Anniversary, Traver salutes the achievements of the artists who have helped the business grow over the years, while also acknowledging the gallery's ongoing mission of supporting and nurturing the careers of emerging artists.

"A lot of changes have occurred in the past 30 years," says gallery owner William Traver. "This city has grown exponentially since we started the gallery… Seattle has become a major player in the art world. We now have internationally recognized arts and cultural institutions like the Seattle Opera, the new Seattle Art Museum, and the Olympic Sculpture Park. The gallery has grown and changed as well. We started with the goal of creating a professional showcase for Seattle artists, and now, thanks to the internet, we work with artists and clients from not only throughout the country, but throughout the world."

The Traver Gallery opened in its doors in the then-beleaguered Belltown neighborhood on September 7, 1977. The first exhibition featured seven local painters, many of whom had been Traver's professors at Cornish College of the Arts. The gallery's roster grew, and Traver, who developed his space as "a theater for the visual arts" mounted two to three solo exhibitions each month for artists working in a variety of media including painting, sculpture, clay and glass.

Traver has always made it a priority to support artists early in their career, and many of the artists he worked with early on have subsequently achieved international reputations. Such artists include Doug Jeck, Jamie Walker, Gregory Grenon, Lino Tagliapietra, Dante Marioni, Preston Singletary, Sonja Blomdahl, Therman Statom, Bertil Vallien and Martin Blank.

In the early years of the gallery's existence, the well-known arts patron Anne Gould Hauberg asked Traver to curate the first Pilchuck Glass Show. The same willingness to take on young artists applied to a young art form. He agreed, and continued to host what became an annual exhibition, putting him at the center of Seattle's developing Studio Glass Movement. Throughout the years, the popularity of glass has grown immensely – nurtured by Traver and several dedicated collectors – and the gallery has become an international destination for connoisseurs of contemporary glass.

Traver partnered briefly with local arts supporter Iris Sutton, and the gallery became known as the Traver/Sutton Gallery. When Sutton left to pursue other interests in 1986, he renamed his business the William Traver Gallery. In 1992, the gallery moved into its current location, a dramatic, light filled space designed by renowned Seattle architect George Suyama. The 4,000 square foot exhibition space is located on the second floor of the Harold Poll Building, a restored 1910 warehouse just across the street from the main entrance of the newly reopened Seattle Art Museum. Always looking for new ways to support emerging artists, Traver opened the retail shop Vetri International Glass at First Avenue and Union Street in 1995.

In 2003, Traver opened a second location of both the Traver Gallery and Vetri International Glass in the renovated Albers Mill Building in Tacoma, WA. Adjacent to the Museum of Glass and Tacoma Art Museum, the Tacoma galleries add a new dimension to the ongoing cultural expansion in Tacoma.

William Traver's keen intuition and willingness to take risks has made him a leader in the Seattle arts community. He moved his gallery to its current location nearly 15 years ago, when the surrounding area was populated by pawn shops, drug dealers and dive bars. Today, he is situated between the Seattle Art Museum and the future Four Season's Hotel. Traver was also the first gallerist in the city to establish a major website and reach out to clients throughout the country – a major step in helping to establish Seattle as a world-class center for the arts.

When asked what it takes to be a successful art dealer, Traver says, "Artists are at the cutting edge of our society. They speak about what is going on in the world in a way that most of us are not able to; they go places that are sometimes difficult to go. I think a good part of my success comes from a willingness to go there with them, to allow them to lead me. This trust, which I cultivated through my work at the gallery, has led me down a spiritual path in my personal life as well, for which I am immensely grateful. It is a path of presence and striving to see the world clearly."

Traver has often said that an artist's work is a reflection of who they are as a person… that the work cannot be separated from the artist and the artist cannot be separated from the work. This is clearly the case for William Traver and his gallery as well. You cannot separate Bill from the gallery and you cannot separate the gallery from Bill.

Located just across the street from the Seattle Art Museum, the Traver Gallery is one of the country's premier exhibition spaces for contemporary studio glass, painting, sculpture, and installation art. Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday 10 – 6, Saturday 10 – 5, and Sunday 12 – 5. For more information, please call (206) 587-6501 or visit our website at .

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