Letters From the Cochairs President Forming Frontiers

Letters From the Co-chairs and President: Forming Frontiers

From the Co-Chairs: Welcome!
Jeremy Lepisto,  Lani McGregor,  Daniel Schwoerer

Portland’s name was decided by a coin toss. Competing owners on the original land claim both wanted to dedicate the new city to their Yankee hometowns of Boston and Portland (Maine). Since then, Portland has become a vibrant, cosmopolitan city, and now is also affectionately referred to as “Stumptown” (for logging), “Beertown” (for 28 breweries), and “The Rose City” (for an ideal rose-growing climate).

You’ll find that Portland is a wonderful place to visit, offering a marvelous array of parks, bridges, pubs, restaurants, shops, and galleries with a distinctively relaxed urban feel. Its short city blocks, renowned transit, and bike-trail systems make Portland an easy place to explore. It’s hard not to love the city’s setting: on the banks of the Willamette River; with three snowcapped volcanoes in view to the east (Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Adams); and the Pacific Ocean just 70 miles to the west.

Thanks to the innovative and pioneering people who have long flocked to Portland, the city now fosters a thriving arts community. It is the home and birthplace of glass factories that are well known around the world for producing exquisite glass. The city has also attracted a complex network of glass artists and studios—many striving to push the boundaries of glass art.

The GAS 2008 conference will offer you a taste of Portlanders’ glass art and the vibrant atmosphere that helps them flourish. Featured will be colorful venues, such as the luxuriant Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall (opening reception), the brand-new Elements Glass, LLC studio (artist demonstrations), and the historic Crystal Ballroom (closing night party) with its rare, original “floating” dance floor.

Like the Pacific Northwest in general, Portland has always been a place that fosters new beginnings. From its earliest days, the city has attracted pioneering individuals who’ve wanted to start afresh and explore new horizons. This conference, too, will foster new beginnings—by surveying the great distance glass art has traveled thus far and then seeking ways to move beyond perceived limitations that now stand between us and the farfetched frontiers of our imaginations.

Jeremy Lepisto       Lani McGregor        Daniel Schwoerer

Letter from the GAS President - Shane Fero

Portland is the site of the Glass Art Society’s 38th Annual Conference which is aptly titled “Forming Frontiers” being that it is in the Pacific Northwest. This is the first time we will visit the “City of Roses”, which has an abundance of great locally sourced foods, wines, and beers, that results in fantastic restaurants and bars at relatively reasonable prices.

I am happy to announce the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement and Lifetime Membership Awards for the Portland conference. Henry Halem, a tireless educator, artist, author, founding member, as well as a two-time President of GAS will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. Henry’s inestimable contributions to GAS and the glass art world have been significant to say the least. Laura Donefer, also an artist, educator, and organizer of the fabulous GAS Fashion Shows at our conferences, is the recipient of the Lifetime Membership Award. Laura’s zaniness, wit, and humor have added so much to our glass world, which makes it so much more fun, and may I say, surreal.

Being the home of Bullseye & Uroboros, both manufacturers of glass systems that produce flat glass, glass for casting, flameworking, and blowing as well as architectural glass have been major catalysts for artists and offer a different approach to our processes. Northstar & Glass Alchemy, both manufacturers of colored borosilicate glasses have raised the bar for flameworkers everywhere in producing vibrant colors that have changed our palette and our work immensely.

The conference will be centered at the downtown Hilton Hotel with many of the demonstrations at Elements Glass. We will be returning to our schedule of demonstrations in the morning and lectures in the afternoon to reduce overlapping of events. The pre-conference reception will be hosted by Bullseye and on Friday night there will be a co-hosted oasis event sponsored by Glass Alchemy and Uroboros. Klaus Moje will be having his first ever solo museum exhibition in the United States at the Portland Art Museum to coincide with the conference. The ever popular student exhibition will be held at the beautiful new Museum of Contemporary Craft. The closing night party will be held at the historical and renowned Crystal Ballroom, which has a floating, ball-bearing and rocking floor. The program is filled with some fantastic people for presentations, demonstrations and panel discussions, such as Dick Marquis and Klaus Moje. I hope that you are thinking about joining us there because I assure you it will be a great conference.

Shane Fero

The Glass Art Society reserves the right to deny applications for Technical Display, advertising participation, GAS membership or the conference from anyone for any reason.