Thursday, February 3rd, 4am


glass art treasure hunt

Ms. Monkey
(253) 222-0716

More than 500 Hand-Blown Glass Balls Already Hidden in Tacoma for Lucky Searchers

Tacoma, WA, February 3 – For the eighth year in a row, Monkeyshines, Tacoma’s anonymous glass art project, has hidden hand-blown glass balls throughout the streets and neighborhoods of Tacoma in celebration of the Chinese New Year. Now it’s up to treasure hunters to go find them.

Monkeyshines first became a news item in 2003, when they gave away more than 200 glass balls in honor of the Chinese Year of the Monkey. Since then, they've hidden literally thousands of pieces of glass art each Chinese New Year. Last year, in 2010, more than 500 glass balls and glass medallions were hidden to celebrate the Year of the Tiger.

In honor of the current Year of the Rabbit, this year’s balls and medallions are stamped with a rabbit’s image. The pieces were created by a team of local artists, including students from the Hilltop Artists in Residence glassblowing program. The artworks were hidden throughout the city late last night by a group of bleary-eyed but enthusiastic volunteers. “I’ve been doing this every year for eight years,” said one participant. “It’s a annual project that’s become part of Tacoma’s cultural fabric.”

“Celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with glass art is a natural,” said Miss Monkey, the project’s official, unidentified spokesperson. “People born in rabbit years are known for loving art and beauty. And glass floats are beauty in a way that is so true to a waterfront community like Tacoma. They are the ultimate beachcomber’s treasure. Everyone should own at least one.”

While a few of the glass floats may actually show up on local beaches, don’t assume they’ll all be there. The artists and participants who hide the pieces try to vary the locations to keep the chance of finding one a true surprise. On previous years, the glass artworks were spotted in the branches of trees, throughout downtown, and in clever spots in many Tacoma neighborhoods. The works are meant to be gifts for whoever finds them.

In conjunction with the glass art, local poster artists Beautiful Angle created a rabbit-themed poster, which will also be distributed throughout downtown Tacoma.

Monkeyshines representatives want to be clear that the glass gifts are meant to be found, taken home, and shared with friends. “This is an art project that is of, by, and for our community,” said one of the lead participants, “but please take only one. Let others have some fun, too.”

Monkeyshines is not an organization. It is a slightly-crazed art project that may or may not occur again. Keep looking in the low-growing branches of trees for more information.

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