The Glass Art Society chooses Tacoma as host city for 2021 international conference

Tacoma, Wash. – At their 2020 virtual conference, the Glass Art Society (GAS) announced the destination of their next international conference on May 19-22, 2021: Tacoma, WA.

Each year, GAS brings together the international community of glass artists, collectors and enthusiasts for a multi-day conference featuring glass from every discipline. Travel Tacoma partnered with Museum of Glass to make Tacoma GAS’s conference destination for 2021.

The conference will include panels, demonstrations, performances and films, as well as lectures and exhibitions from some of the top artists in the world.

“This is so much more than simply winning a bid to host an event. With a topic like glass and a city like Tacoma that understands the medium’s collaborative spirit, it’s that feeling of rightness you get when you walk into a place for the first time, but it feels like coming home,” said Dean Burke, President and CEO of Travel Tacoma – Mt. Rainier Tourism and Sports. “It’s a feeling I think we’re going to hear a lot about when we welcome the biggest names in the industry to our city.”

“Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the GAS conference, and we’re so excited to be able to celebrate it here in the Pacific Northwest,” said Brandi Clark, Executive Director of the Glass Art Society.

“It’s really special for Museum of Glass, the downtown museum district, and the city to host the conference in 2021,” said Debbie Lenk, Executive Director, Museum of Glass. Art is at the soul of Tacoma, our artists, makers, studios, and museums have helped shape the city into what it is today.”

The effort to attract a conference that aligns so well with the city of Tacoma’s rich and diverse arts culture began in February 2019 with a collaboration between the Museum of Glass, Tacoma Art Museum and Travel Tacoma – Mt. Rainier Tourism and Sports.

“With these larger international conventions, we’re often talking about years of work between the lightbulb going off in someone’s head that this would be a good fit, and the attendees actually arriving here from around the world,” Burke said. “In this case, with both a conference and a destination that are true to the cultural roots of glass art, we knew we had to make it happen no matter how long it took.”

As the hometown of the most renowned glass artist in the world, Dale Chihuly, Tacoma has a long pedigree in the studio glass movement. Two museums with world-class glass-art collections – Museum of Glass and Tacoma Art Museum – are within easy walking distance of one another across the Chihuly Bridge of Glass, and public glass art installations dot the city, while glass studios and nonprofits thrive here.

Based in Seattle, the Glass Art Society is an international non-profit organization founded in 1971.  The mission of GAS is to encourage excellence, advance education, and support the worldwide community of artists working with glass.

The Glass Art Society strives to stimulate communication among artists, educators, students, collectors, galleries and museums, and all others who are interested in and involved in the production, technology and aesthetics of glass.  The organization is dedicated to creating a greater public awareness and appreciation of the glass arts.

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About Travel Tacoma – Mt. Rainier Tourism and Sports

Travel Tacoma – Mt. Rainier Tourism and Sports is the official destination marketing organization for Tacoma and Pierce County, Washington. Accredited by Destinations International. For more information, visit www.TravelTacoma.com.

About Museum of Glass 

Located in Tacoma, Washington, Museum of Glass is a premier contemporary art museum dedicated to glass and glassmaking in the West Coast’s largest and most active museum glass studio. Opened in 2002, the Museum has established a reputation for hosting impactful and engaging artist residencies, organizing nationally traveling exhibitions, and creating unique programs for visitors while building a growing permanent collection chronicling the development of modern and contemporary glass. Museum of Glass provides an environment for artists and the public to ignite creativity, fuel discovery, and enrich their lives through glass and glassmaking. Museum of Glass is a non-profit organization sponsored in part by the City of Tacoma Arts Commission, ArtsFund, The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, The Dimmer Family Foundation, and the Driscoll Foundation.

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