EVERETT — Russell Day used to keep the sculpture on his deck. Now it has a place in Everett Community College’s Whitehorse Hall.
Day, a 103-year-old former Everett Community College art instructor, joined more than 75 people May 27 in Whitehorse Hall to celebrate the installation of his untitled 238-pound Blenko glass and concrete sculpture.
The sculpture, created by Day in 1955 and donated to the college in 2015, was painstakingly restored by Lowell Hanson and installed with the assistance of retired photography instructor Lloyd Weller, design instructor Julie Berger and studio arts technician Miles Labitzke.
Day said he was inspired to create the piece after seeing thick, heavy glass used in Europe in 1954. He bought some of the glass after returning to the United States.
“I couldn’t do anything with it,” Day said. “I couldn’t cut it. I had to take the broken pieces and put them together, and this was the result.”
Day founded the arts program at Everett Junior College. He worked at the college from 1947 to 1976, and is perhaps best known for his pioneering work with silver and glass.
“When I was a student and I was working with glass, there wasn’t anyone else who knew anything about glass other than Russell,” said internationally known glass artist Dale Chihuly, who attended Friday’s dedication.
Chihuly said Day was a mentor to him in his early days as an artist.
“It’s great to see him at 103,” said Chihuly, who joined Day and noted photorealist painter Chuck Close, another of Day’s students, at a lunch after the installation.
In 2008, EvCC renamed its art gallery in honor of Day. He and his late wife Marjorie, who taught English at EvCC, created an annual scholarship for a student pursuing an associate of fine arts degree.
— By Katherine Schiffner, public relations director, Everett Community College