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Among the Clouds at Goldfinch Tavern

For any art lover in Seattle the Four Seasons has long been a hidden gem. It’s renowned for its art-filled lobby where the Northwest School is on constant display thanks to the curation of penthouse resident and longtime Seattle arts patron Virginia Wright (with the help of gallerist Greg Kucera of course). Throughout the lobby, above the reception desk, and tucked away near the elevators giant paintings by Kenneth Callahan mingle with Paul Horiuchi collages and Alden Mason Burpees, and all you have to do to get an eyeful of these greats is pretend that you’re waiting for your elegant out-of-town friend to descend from their room above to the lobby where you await. 

But now we’ve found a new reason to loiter in the lobby, and that is the arrival of Goldfinch Tavern. It’s apparent that the team over at downtown’s posh Four Seasons hotel are trying to take on a certain distinguished Seattle restaurant (I’m looking for something that rhymes with Canlis here) in their new Ethan Stowell venture Goldfinch Tavern. The interior designers  have wrapped everything inside in rich walnut wood surfaces and blackened steel; they clearly read the handbook on understated luxury on this project. It is a design strategy that has up until now been easily equated with the Mad Men television series. We can officially stop referencing that show now.

But the designers have taken it a step further and added some truly artistic touches that make Goldfinch both the spot to bring your art loving friends for half shell happy hours as well as your special someone for splurge-worthy dinners. Thankfully the designers enlisted local talent to illuminate their sleek and refined surfaces. Enter the fabulous and always upbeat Julie Conway of Illuminata Glass.

Here is a quick photo tour of the process that Julie Conway took to create her Nuvole series, Italian for Clouds, to illuminate the Goldfinch Tavern. Conway created a series of 18 hand shaped pendent lamps strung above the outcropping of walnut couches in the bar area and another twenty sconces that light the booths around the perimeter of the tavern. Each and every fixture shimmers with golden tones that extend the glistening Puget Sound indoors from the bank of panorama windows along the restaurant’s west side. And upon closer inspection the keen observer will note that the silver leafing that gives off the gold tones looks something like the froth and foam of breaking waves, chaotic and calming all at once.

We encourage you to drop by and bask in the gorgeous light from Conway’s creations. Sip a Goldfinch cocktail and tip back a few delicious oysters while you’re at it. An added bonus: you’re only steps away from the Seattle Art Museum.

A Nuvole and the glory hole.

A Nuvole and the glory hole.

Conway in the hot shop shaping the pendent lamp with cork paddles.

Conway in the hot shop shaping the pendent lamp with cork paddles.

More paddle action.

More paddle action.

Nuvole floating like the clouds they are named for above patron's heads.

Nuvole floating like the clouds they are named for above patron’s heads.

And out above the reception desk they hang like puffs of campfire smoke.

And out above the reception desk they hang like puffs of campfire smoke.

More elegance.

More elegance.

And above each booth the sconces keep that vibe of the sparkling sound going.

And above each booth the sconces keep that vibe of the sparkling sound going.

And now for your close-up...

And now for your close-up…

The artist with her Nuvole and a Goldfinch cocktail.

The artist with her Nuvole and a Goldfinch cocktail.

 

 

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