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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 01 November 2006

In celebration of Pratt Fine Arts Center's 30th anniversary of continuous operation as Seattle's art education and resource center, the center will hold an open house from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 4 at the center, 1902 S. Main St.
The open house will feature demonstrations in glassblowing, bronze pouring, blacksmithing, printmaking, jewelry making and more.
Pratt has grown from a small "arts in the parks" program to a leading nonprofit organization providing instruction in the visual arts and access to specialized equipment for making art. The success Pratt enjoys today is the result of years of planning and hard work by artists, staff and supporters who have overcome challenges and created a home for the visual arts in Seattle.
Pratt Fine Arts Center is named in honor of Edwin T. Pratt. Pratt was executive director of the Seattle Urban League from 1961 to 1969, when he was assassinated at his Seattle home. Pratt Fine Arts Center serves as a lasting tribute to a man who devoted his life to improving the quality of life for everyone.
In the 1970s, the organization was at the forefront of the burgeoning studio glass movement that today makes the Pacific Northwest famous for glass art. Many glass and other artists of international fame spent their early years at Pratt Fine Arts Center. These include Jenny Pohlman, Sabrina Knowles, Paul and Dante Marioni, Roger Parramore, Sonja Blomdahl, Ramona Solberg, Virginia Causey, Julie Speidel and Romson Bustillo.
"Throughout its 30-year history, Pratt launched the careers of so many local artists," said Michelle Bufano, Pratt's education director. "The impact this small organization has had on the lives and careers of Northwest artists is astounding."
Pratt Fine Arts Center originally housed studios for glass, jewelry, metal sculpture and clay. Due to city budget cuts in 1982, Pratt was required to change from a publicly funded organization into a private not-for-profit organization. City Art Works was established to operate both Pratt and serve the Seward Park Art Studio as an independently funded concessionaire of the city. At that time, the clay program was moved to the Seward Park facility, and painting, drawing and printmaking were added to Pratt's selection of media. In 1985, City Art Works at Pratt was separated from the Seward Park Art Studio.
Pratt maintains its equipment-rich facilities to serve more than 3,200 students and over 500 working artists each year in its four main studios: sculpture, glass, jewelery/metalsmithing and drawing, painting and printmaking. Art classes at Pratt are offered throughout the year for people of every age and every ability level. For more information, call 206-328-2200 or visit www.pratt.org.

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