The Glass City vibrated with excitement and the downtown area's restaurants and art galleries bustled during the Glass Art Society's 42nd annual conference June 13-16.
It was a busy week as Toledoans showed their hospitality during the national convention presented by Block Communications Inc., the parent company of The Blade, along with other sponsors that included colleges, arts organizations, and businesses.
In addition to the convention activities and gallery tours, there were dinners and parties at homes and at the Toledo Museum of Art for delegates from Italy, Canada, Turkey, Sweden, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, Poland, Japan, England, Korea, Denmark, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, and Australia.
Members around the world who could not attend the convention enjoyed the conference via online links through Facebook and Twitter, said Bill Hamilton of Toledo.
Tim Valko and Jim Moore hosted a party in their home for the GAS international board and the local committee members who worked diligently for the past several years on the project. Among the guests were Toledo committee chairmen Margy Trumbull, Herb Babcock, and Jack Schmidt; the president of GAS, Jeremy Lepisto, a Toledo native who lives in Australia; the incoming president, Jutta-Annette Page, glass curator of TMA, and the executive director of GAS from Seattle, Pam Koss.
Art collectors Sara Jane and Bill DeHoff hosted a dinner in their home for artists and sponsors. Her son, glass artist Brennen Kasperzak of Seattle, was home for the occasion.
A pre-conference reception was at the Toledo Museum of Art, the hub of the conference. The night was a sneak peek of the new Wolfe Gallery and the exhibit Color Ignited: Glass 1962-2012 followed by a fancy dinner in the Glass Pavilion for major sponsors.
GAS lifetime achievement awardees Joel Philip Meyers and Bertil Vallien each donated a work for auction. John Steinert received the lifetime membership award.
"Here's to 50 years!" said museum director Brian Kennedy. It was a grand historical moment and every art aficionado was there, including Mary and Fritz Wolfe, for which the new Wolfe Gallery was named, David K. Welles, Susan and Frazier Reams, Pam and Bill Davis, Holly Metzger, Kathy and George Jones, Mary Lou Fox, and Annette Boice.
A dinner was at the home of Paula and Peter Brown, owners of Paula Brown Shop and Gallery, in honor of Ann Morhauser of Santa Cruz, Calif., artist and founder of Annieglass "art for the table" and glass artist Jen Violette of Vermont.
River House Arts in Perrysburg hosted an Artist Talk and Tour of A Visual Conversation. The show curated by Jane Bruce featured works by seven renowned glass artists: John Brekke of New York, Sydney Cash of New York, Irene Frolic of Toronto, Natali Rodrigues of Calgary, Michael Rogers of New York, and two artists who have work in the TMA Color Ignited show, Judith Schaechter of Philadelphia, and Jane Bruce of New York. Also at the event was Klaus Moje of Australia, whose work is in the Color Ignited show.
Cocktails Ignited, a party for board members, sponsors and glass artists, was at The Hylant building. In honor of the museum's new glass gallery, the theme was Colors Ignited with paintings by Mr. Atomic on the walls and colorful foods to match. An Old Timers Blow was later at the Schmidt Messenger Studios.
The grand finale was the fashion show of wearable glass created by artists, many of whom were in the show. Wow! There were all sizes and shapes of models, and some fashions were way out there, while others might actually be something to wear on a special occasion, except for the fact that it would be tough to sit on glass.
Edith Franklin, who was there when it all started 50 years ago, strutted the runway as did some Roller Derby queens. Behind the scenes, Toni and Guy Hairdressing Academy in Sylvania Township did a fabulous job with the hair and makeup for the fashion show.
Among the more than 200 volunteers, many artists and many from businesses, were Marc Folk, Katerina Ruedi Ray, Sharon Frankel, Milt Hakel, Matt Paskiet, Roger Ray, Janet Schroeder, Cynthia Taylor, Carol Gee, Cindy Bunch, and Cindy Niggemyer.