Bloom, 2018

Kait Rhoads

Location: Highline College, Des Moines


Bloom by glass artist and sculptor Kait Rhoads is an intricate, murrine-glass beaded sculpture. The installation features a large kelp bloom ascending up into the second floor of the atrium. Rhoads weaves transparent pieces of green, blue, amber, and yellow murrine glass to form the kelp bloom. This fluid glass sculpture combines realism and abstraction with the interplay of color and light throughout the day and night. It also highlights and reminds us of the importance of the marine ecosystems in the surrounding Puget Sound area.

The curator Tina Aufiero wanted an artist whose work spoke to the water, Puget Sound, and the amazing water views from the second-floor windows. She found a match in Kait Rhoads’s love and personal experiences of marine life.

Murrine is an Italian word for colored patterns or images made in long rods of glass, that are revealed when cut in cross-section slices.

This artwork was acquired for the State Art Collection in partnership with Highline College.


Glass artist Kait Rhoads is inspired by nature and aquatic life. She grew up with her family on a sailboat and developed an early appreciation for life “above and below the horizon line.” Her interest in environmental issues plays a large role in her artistic practice.
Rhoads graduated in 1989 with an Atrium Baccalaureate in Creative Arts, from Rollins College, Florida. She earned a BFA (1993) in Glass from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and an MFA (2001) in Glass from Alfred University at the New York State College of Ceramics.

MediumKiln-fired and hand-blown glass beads, woven together with copper wire on a silicon bronze framework
Dimensions7 ft x 4 ft x 5 ft plus the 14 ft long stipe and holdfast (main kelp stem)
ID NumberWSAC2019.021.000
Acquisition MethodCurated Selection
Artist LocationWashington, United States
Location Information
AgencyHighline College
Artwork LocationHighline College
Health and Life Sciences building
WA CountyKing
Site TypeCollege
Address2400 S 240th St.
Des Moines, WA 98198
Geo. Coordinates47.388566, -122.301832
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