Posted by: Kath Usitalo | March 28, 2011

Hot Tip: April Is Michigan Glass Month

Glass stringer bowl titled "Threads" by Sally Pritko

Let me break it to you: April is Glass Month in Michigan.

As in art glass. Michigan Glass Month began in 1980 as a way to celebrate glass arts and promote Michigan artists, studios, museums, galleries and schools that specialize in glass. The website promises you’ll be able to find shows, demonstrations and related events, but last I checked the calendar only listed a few events. They’d better get their glass in gear—April is just days away.

One event I’m aware of that isn’t on that calendar is hosted by the West Michigan Glass Art Center (WMGAC) in Kalamazoo. Things will get hot at the 5th annual Battle of the Glassblowers, when glass artists put their skills to the test in timed competitions. The public is invited to watch: 5-10 p.m., Friday, April 1 and noon-6 p.m. Saturday, April 2 in the studio at the Park Trades Center.

Friday is also the monthly Art Hop in Kalamazoo, when galleries and artist studios welcome visitors from 5-9 p.m. It’s the best time to catch the creative folks in their digs at the Park Trades Center, which I wrote about on March 14.

Another view of Sally's "Threads"

The WMGAC gallery showcases the work of students and instructors including pieces by local artist Sally Pritko, whose beautiful and delicate glass stringer bowl, “Threads,” caught my eye.

Sally, a china painter who has also dabbled in drawing and oil painting, has been working in glass for about six years.

She made this square bowl of pre-made, thin glass stringers that she lined up, fused, heated in a kiln and molded into shape. It’s very delicate and beautiful.

She and some of the other artists associated with the WMGAC will be on hand this weekend for Art Hop and the Battle of the Glassblowers.

See this chandelier by glass artist Dale Chihuly in the entry to the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

NOTE: 39th Annual International Glass Invitational

The Detroit area is home to the largest gallery in the nation that is dedicated to artists who specialize in glass.

Founded in 1971 by Ferdinand Hampson, Habatat Galleries in Royal Oak hosts the 39th International Glass Invitational from April 28-May 29, 2011.

Click here to preview the pieces that will be sold at Masterworks: A Contemporary Glass Auction at 8 p.m., Thursday, April 28 at Farinas Banquet Center in Berkley. Habatat Galleries are also located in Chicago, Boca Raton, Florida, and Tysons Corner, Virginia.

Visitor Info Clicks:

Kalamazoo

Pure Michigan

Related Posts:

At Home at the Kalamazoo House B & B

Enter the Kalamazoo Creative Zone

O’Duffy’s: The Perfect Neighborhood Pub

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Responses

  1. We make it a point to go to the Battle of the Glassblowers every year. It’s AMAZING to watch these talented artists compete against each other as they create beautiful, and functional — and sometimes wacky — glass art!

    • And as I understand it they dress up according to a theme? Sounds like fun.

  2. I didn’t know about Michigan Glass Month! But here’s an artist and gallery that you will want to add to your glass artist list: Craig Mitchell Smith opened a 4800 square foot gallery in the Macy’s wing of the Meridian Mall in Okemos, MI last year. I think it’s the largest single artist gallery in the state! He does gorgeous glass work. Here’s a link to his Michigan.org listing: http://www.michigan.org/Property/Detail.aspx?p=B13105

    • Thanks, Lori. Definitely on my To See list.


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