Art Glass Festival: An Insider's Perspective

Events and Contests

As March begins, theres almost a palpable excitement in the air at Delphi. This year will be my 13th Art Glass Festival, and somehow every year its magical almost like being a kid waiting anxiously for Christmas morning all over again.

It begins earlier than you might think with conversations about the schedule of events, prizes, guest artists and more. Thanks to the enthusiasm and dedication of our staff, the entire event is carefully planned and coordinated to showcase the talent of our customers and offer an opportunity to have fun.

I like to dig in and take a very hands-on role in the entire process. While entries are streaming in through the Lansing Creativity Center and Online, Im busy checking in the prizes donated by dozens of generous vendors.

While the Creativity Center is being transformed into a Gallery, I work with a team and coordinate the assembly of exhibitor packs, door prizes and prize packs. Its a big job, but a lot of fun can you imagine putting together goodie bags for a party of glass artists? Or picking out the best prizes for the winners that are as passionate about glass as you are?

The Artists Reception is always spectacular. The Gallery is unveiled and we get to see at long last what all the products that leave our building have been transformed into. Artists come together over brunch to mingle, talk shop and share tips, tricks and techniques. Its fun to see the pride everyone takes in their projects and the interest everyone shares in what their peers have made.

From door prizes to Peoples Choice Award, handing out prizes is a fantastic experience. Over the years weve been able to give some amazing things away some of the most memorable were a new saw awarded to an artist who had just worn his old one out; and a kiln awarded as First Prize in the Young Artists category to a young lady that was graduating from high school it came just in time to allow her to keep fusing on her own!

When we started the Online Art Glass Festival in 2002, it opened up an entire world of inspiration. Suddenly, we were able to receive entries from glass artists around the world and see the amazing projects they were creating. Its fun to read the stories and view pictures of the art and artists. We love sending out prize packs and sharing our enthusiasm about not just the winning entries, but the entire gallery full of inspiration.

Im so glad its time to get ready for Art Glass Festival 2011! What are you entering this year?

Photos: Top left: Arlene B., Kayleigh M. and Melanie C.; middle right: Melanie C.; bottom right: artist Dwayne G

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Melanie Churchill

Melanie Churchill

Melanie has been with Delphi since 1998. She has worked in the Creativity Center and the Contact Center, and she now serves as the Merchandising Coordinator. She is also a talented glass artist and Delphi instructor. Look for tips and project ideas from Melanie in Delphi catalogs and on the Delphi website.