Recognized as the best contemporary glasswork being made in the Midwest, 28 pieces from 21 glass artists have been selected for this year’s Indiana Glass Arts Alliance (IGAA) annual exhibition.  Titled “GATHERING: Contemporary Glass from the Heartland,” the exhibition will open Oct. 19 at the Indiana University Kokomo Art Gallery and continue through Dec. 7. The exhibition is open to the public.

This is the first time the IGAA has opened the exhibition to glass artists outside Indiana.  “Glasswork from today’s Hoosier artists continues to raise the state’s profile in the U.S. glass arts community,” said Cindy Thompson, IGAA board chair, “and the Alliance wanted to provide more leadership for our craft in the Midwest.  Extending this opportunity to glass artists in surrounding states offers a platform to showcase their exceptional abilities while giving Hoosiers an opportunity to see work by a wider array of today’s top glass artists.”

BrainstormNearly 150 applications, from 48 glass artists in six states, were reviewed by a two-member jury panel.  Tom Riley, who for 30 years has owned Riley Galleries, in Cleveland, Ohio along with glass artist and director of the glass program at Kent State University, Sean Mercer, collaborated on selecting artwork for the exhibition.  The IGAA offers $2500 in total cash awards, and the Best in Show Award recipient will additionally receive the opportunity to be exhibited at Riley Galleries.

Indiana has one of the longest and most storied histories of glassmaking in the U.S., and it is appropriate that this year’s exhibition is in Kokomo, where Hoosier glassmaking began in 1888.  The Opalescent Glass Works, today known as Kokomo Opalescent Glass, is the oldest continuously operating glassmaking facility in the United States.

The Indiana University Kokomo Art Gallery is located at 2300 South Washington Street, in Kokomo, Indiana.   Free parking is available on campus.  Gallery hours are Tue. and Thu., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Wed., 10 a.m.- 8 p.m.; and Sat., noon – 4 p.m. 765-455-9523 All times are EST.


Tom Armbruster, Hudson, OH

Cortney Boyd, Carbondale, IL

Mathilde Brown Swanson, Des Moines, IA

Domenico Cavallaro, Cuyahoga Falls, OH

Steven Ciezki, Calumet City, IL

Cecile Derel, Chicago, IL

Davin Ebanks, Anderson, IN

Robert Geyer, Portage, OH

Francine Gourguechon, Chicago, IL

Jennifer Halvorson, Muncie, IN

Justin Kern, Muncie, IN

Sungsoo Kim, Kent, OH

Melissa Kistler, Indianapolis, IN

Joanna Manousis, Columbus, OH

Emily McBride, Louisville, KY

Matthew Paskiet, Holland, OH

Charlyn Reynolds, Elgin, IL

Kenny Sprinkle, Camby, IN

Timothy Stover, Kent, OH

Zac Weinberg, Columbus, OH

Audrey Wilson, Mt. Rainier, MD



For 30 years, Riley Galleries located in Cleveland, OH, has been on a search for highly resolved timeless forms of museum quality. Tom Riley, owner of Riley Galleries, has learned that it is more about form than medium. Throughout his career the medium of glass has been his gallery’s main focus. He has been privileged to participate in the SOFA Chicago and GlassWeekend programs from their inception.

M. Sean Mercer received his BFA from Kent State University, and holds an MFA in glass and sculpture from Bowling Green State University. Since the Fall of 2000, he has been the head of the Glass Program at Kent State University, his alma mater. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States and is represented in numerous private and public collections, including the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY.


The Indiana Glass Arts Alliance (IGAA) was established in 2009 as a non-profit organization whose mission is to sponsor, promote and participate in events to increase Indiana’s knowledge and appreciation of the glass arts. IGAA also works to identify, encourage and support Indiana’s emerging glass artists. It hosts two annual events that are free and open to the public. Hot Glass Infusion Weekend takes place on a Saturday and Sunday in the spring. This two-day event features flameworking and glassblowing demonstrations, live auction, glass gift shop, and an educational area about glass. In the fall, IGAA has traditionally presented the Best of Indiana Glass: Indiana Glass Artists Exhibition, an annual juried exhibition recognizing Indiana’s best glass artists.  This year, the exhibition expanded to include glass artists from the Midwest.