In 2006, when Stan Price was honored as Snohomish County Artist of the Year, a retrospective exhibit of his glass artistry was titled “Turning Point.”
Thirteen years later, as co-owners of Everett’s Covenant Art Glass shop and and teaching studio, he and his wife Colleen Price have reached a different turning point. They plan to retire by year’s end, after running their Everett business since 1979.
“I’m ready to retire,” said Stan Price, 68, who’s working on a final large commission, biblical-themed glass panels for Saddlerock Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Wenatchee.
After a Nov. 16-17 sale of Stan’s pieces at Covenant Art Glass, some dating back 50 years, they’re hoping to sell the business — but not their building, which lends its own artistic touches to the northwest corner of Broadway and 33rd Street.
Stained-glass creations hang in the shop windows. Up close, on colorful diamond-shaped tiles inset into the building’s exterior, passersby can read words of wisdom etched and fused into glass: “Many hands make light work,” “The best things in life aren’t things” and other upbeat sayings. “Those are the kinds of things I want to pass on to my kids,” Stan Price told The Herald in 1997, when their building was new.
The couple’s three children grew up in Everett, which Stan said has been “a great place to work and raise a family.” Now they’re planning a move from their longtime Rucker Hill home to the Wenatchee area. That, Colleen said, will put them about halfway between their grandchildren, all boys, three in Seattle and four in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
“It’s been fun,” said Colleen, 64. A former junior high home-ec teacher, she manages the business end of Covenant Art Glass, where novice and experienced students take stained-glass classes.
At the shop Wednesday, they shared some of Stan’s signature works, many with fish imagery. There are heavy bowls and glass panels featuring types of salmon. On one piece is a bird in the hand. In another, a fish has escaped the clutches of an eagle’s talons. An old brass porthole has been repurposed as a frame for a seagoing scene in colored glass.
And an intriguing collection, seven painted glass images with rat traps as hangers, shows rodents in representations of the seven deadly sins.
“The fish go way back,” said Stan, who grew up in Seattle’s Ballard area and recalls walking over the locks. With a bachelor’s degree in fine art from Pacific Lutheran University, he was working on his master’s in art at Central Washington University when he and Colleen met.
“I was a glass blower,” Stan Price said. His wife said his work evolved from hot glass (blowing) to cold glass (stained glass) to warm glass (using a kiln).
In the late 1970s, he worked at Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, where he and Colleen were the first residents of the caretaker’s cottage and she was a cook. Started in 1971 by Dale Chihuly and patrons as a summer glassblowing workshop, Pilchuck is today world renowned as a center of studio glass artistry.
In the ’70s, “people blowing glass were hippies,” Stan said. He didn’t think he could make a living doing it. In 1979 with $4,000 borrowed from an aunt — later paid back with interest — they opened their shop on Rucker Avenue where the Snohomish Health District is today. There was another move downtown before they built their own Covenant Art Glass building in 1997.
“We have been so lucky to have Stan and his talents in our community,” said Judy Tuohy, executive director of the Schack Art Center in Everett. “He not only shares his amazing talent, but he also teaches and nurtures budding artists, sharing his many trade secrets.”
Not only the county’s Artist of the Year in 2006, Stan was a 2014 recipient of a Mayor’s Arts Award given by the Everett Cultural Commission. Tuohy said he served on the Schack’s board of directors for more than 13 years and supported the art center’s development. “They will be dearly missed, but their impact on our art community will be felt for years to come,” Tuohy said.
Carie Collver, the Schack Art Center’s gallery director and chief curator, said Stan Price was gone from Pilchuck Glass School by the time she was there, “but his stellar reputation lived on.”
“We have had the pleasure over the years of showing his glass art, as well as many of the artists he has taught,” Collver said. “He has always been willing to share his knowledge of the trade, and to tell you exactly how he did a certain skill — not all artists are like that. He simply loves glass and wants everyone else to have an appreciation of it too.”
The Prices are wishing for a buyer, someone who’ll continue both the business and classes. “I’m still hopeful,” Colleen said.
On a table in the shop, Stan rolled out a huge hand-drawn plan, the beginnings of the project for the Wenatchee church. It will take weeks of work. His fans may be surprised that he’s thinking about new ways to create, once it’s finished.
“I will do art,” he said. “I don’t anticipate doing any glass.”
Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stan Price’s art glass sale
Glass artist Stan Price’s works, created over 50 years, will be on sale Nov. 16-17 at Covenant Art Glass, the store and studio at 3232 Broadway, Everett. The event is titled “50 Years of Stan’s Art and 40 Years of Covenant Art Glass.” The business is also for sale. Information: 425-252-4232 or www.covenantartglass.com