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Neenah museum puts focus on art of glass

Post Time:Oct 08,2011Classify:Industry NewsView:232

NEENAH — Artists with the Hot Glass Roadshow from the Corning Museum of Glass in New York were around in 2009 to help the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum in Neenah celebrate its 50th anniversary.

The mobile glass-making studio is back for the museum’s third Arts of Fire event, which started Thursday and runs through Sunday. This time, the artists’ visit and glass-blowing demonstrations correspond with the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum’s announcement that it will focus all of its programming, classes and exhibits on the art of glass.

“What it means to the museum is to change all of our temporary exhibitions to glass-related exhibitions, and then start offering classes and workshops for adults and children using glass,” executive director Jan Smith said Thursday.

“This is our opportunity to change the profile of the museum. We feel we can really benefit the community by increasing the national and international profile of the museum to attract visitors to Neenah, and also for the museum to distinguish itself among regional art museums.”

For the past year, the tagline “Wisconsin’s Glass Museum” has been a part of the museum’s logo. The museum’s permanent collections already display different types of glass art, including its hallmark paperweights, Victorian art glass, Germanic drinking vessels and contemporary studio glass.

Plans are in place for the museum to add a shop for hands-on glass-making experiences next year.

The museum still intends to hold its annual Fox Valley high school art exhibition, but its focus also will be on glass, Smith said.

As Arts of Fire opened Thursday to the community, including school field trip groups, the Hot Glass Roadshow’s mobile studio morphed into an outdoor stage.

While the four-artist team fashioned a glass vase with encircling vines and dainty flowers, the audience took in examples of finished work, including a blue plate, a swan-necked dinosaur and a plump pumpkin.

“Expanding the museum to reflect the breadth of modern glass-making, that to me is what it takes to be Wisconsin’s glass museum,” said Lloyd Hughes, president of the museum’s board of directors. “It’s an opportunity to get a new generation excited about what glass is all about.”

 

Source: http://www.postcrescent.comAuthor: shangyi

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