Now that the 2013 Art On Fire series of “glass weekends” has concluded, we’re busy planning for 2014. The series combines a lot to see and do in an area small enough to travel easily. Each weekend includes events in counties near each other, forming a trail for travelers to follow for three days of demos, history, galleries, classes, and festivals! The 2013 series is below to offer a glimpse of what these weekends include. The 2014 series will be posted by the end of the year.
1) Art on Fire: Dunkirk Glass Days
May 31-June 2
Celebrate the rich history of Indiana glass at the Dunkirk Glass Days festival. The celebration includes stained glass demos and a factory tour of Verallia, the most technologically advanced plant in the US, open 24/7/365 to produce more than 2.5 million beer bottles for InBev, owner of the Anheuser Busch brands. Enjoy glass history through the stained glass in four local churches from the 1800s and 1900s, the Todd Opera House and the Jay County Courthouse, featuring a skylight designed and installed in 1919. The work of modern-day glass artists also is part of the festival. Visit the Glass Bonsai and Kathy Carfield’s Stained Glass Designs to see what’s new. Then, head to The Glass Museum, Indiana’s only glass museum, which includes more than 8,000 pieces of glassware from around the world, including the Sistine Chapel. Continue down the road for a self-guided tour through the breathtaking views of the Tiffany Stained Glass Trail in Richmond. Every glass lover knows that, since 1837, Tiffany & Co. has been making some of the most exquisite glass and jewelry designs in the world. The trail includes masterful pieces dating to 1895 showcased in three churches within three blocks.
2) Art on Fire: Art Glass Turns 10
Join us for a celebration of the Indiana Society of Lampwork & Glass Artist’s (ISLAGA) 10th anniversary! Start at Lisa Pelo’s studio, Glass as Hot as it Gets, for glass blowing demonstrations by some of Indiana’s top talents. Later that day, try your hand at a lampworking class at Indy Flame Art, located in the Circle City Industrial Complex in Indianapolis. Continue down the interstate to the Columbus Visitor’s Center to see an original piece by the world-renowned Dale Chihuly. If you are a collector, the Visitors Center also has several pieces by Chihuly for sale. To see more, make the short drive to the Columbus Learning Center, which has custom Chihuly sun garden panels. Cap off the weekend wandering through the streets of Nashville. Anne Ryan Miller’s stained glass studio and Ron Schuster’s Sweetwater Gallery are just a couple of places you’ll want to visit in this town that doubles as Indiana’s art mecca. A video on Ann, Ron and the Lawrence Family Glassblowers is here.
Stop in to Warsaw Cut Glass Company to see one of the last American facilities practicing the art of cutting glass. Each piece in the enormous selection of hand-cut crystal glass is original and unique. The anchor to this weekend is incredible glass at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Two exhibits of Dale Chihuly’s work will be featured from late June through September. Approximately 50 of his pieces will be exhibited, while in another gallery the FWMoA will feature the work of 26 fantastic glass artists from around the world in the International Glass Invitational exhibit.
Start the weekend early and take a class Thursday evening at Minnetrista, in Muncie. Glass Workshop: Copper Enameling 2.0 is appropriate for glass artists of all levels, including beginners. Then Friday morning, at 10:00, continue your journey by taking a tour of Kokomo Opalescent Glass, the oldest manufacturer of hand case, rolled cathedral and opalescent glass in America- truly a unique experience! Afterwards, head to the Elwood Glass Festival. Trolleys take guests to and from Prestige Art Glass Studio and House of Glass throughout the day for tours and demonstrations. Finish the day with a relaxing trip through the Carmel Art & Design District. The charming main street area of Carmel showcases nine galleries, and ArtSplash is exhibiting the work of five current Indiana glass artists. Saturday focuses on the windows at downtown Indy’s Scottish Rite Cathedral, the largest building in the U.S. devoted to Freemasonry, and the enormous Chihuly work that is the centerpiece of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the country’s largest children’s museum. The following day, FREE mini classes at Indy Flame Art allow everyone in the family to test their talent, or develop it, at torchwork.
The first stop of this trip is the Zimmerman Art Glass Factory in Corydon. Take a tour of the factory and learn about the history and craftsmanship of this family-owned business. Then make your way down to historic Madison where you can walk along the Ohio River while enjoying the Chautauqua Art Festival and perusing glass art stands that are part of this must-visit fall festival. Finish the weekend by heading north to Columbus to admire the architecture of the city as well as the stunning Chihuly chandelier in the Visitor’s Center. Take home your own Chihuly from the center’s gift shop.
Start the weekend in Lafayette, at Sharon Owens’ studio Inspired Fire. Take a class and create your own piece of glass art to take home. Browse her gallery that includes work from artists around the state. The following day, take a tour of the country’s oldest glass manufacturer: Kokomo Opalescent Glass. Watch hand-mixed sheet glass being poured, pressed and cut into colorful sheets that are used in glass art all over the world. Then, just down the road at Indiana University-Kokomo, the annual Best of Indiana Glass Art Exhibition has changed its name and expanded this year to include glass artists from all contiguous states, plus Wisconsin. The Indiana Glass Arts Alliance hosts this exhibit, now called Gathering: Contemporary Glass from the Heartland, and it will open on the 19th. You already will be in town, so be one of the very first to see it. On Sunday, visit Frozen Music, the Logansport-based art glass studio of Mercedes Brugh. Named an Indiana Artisan in 2009, Mercedes has designed glass jewelry pieces for more than 30 years.