I want to wish everyone a healthy and happy 2015. If we were in China, I would wish us all a happy and healthy year of the sheep, ram or goat.
2014 was a terrific year for AACG. We achieved our largest membership in our 27 year history. We have our most Visionary members ever. The AACG trip to Israel was a tremendous success (respiratory ailments notwithstanding). I can’t thank David Denn enough. I’m told that our interim board meeting to Knoxville was the best one ever. Our grants program is thriving and will be granting our millionth dollar this year, and our new Visionary scholarship program is underway. Glass art seems to be alive and well in all the various shows and museums around this country and others. As an AACG member, you have every reason to be proud of your organization’s accomplishments. I certainly am.
Let’s not stop there. We look forward to 2015 being a magnificent year, and it will be my fourth year as your president. Of course there are the usual art fairs around the country, to which your AACG membership usually entitles you to a free VIP admission. In June, the biennial GlassWeekend will be held at the WheatonArts and Cultural Center in Millville, New Jersey. If you’ve never attended, please give this a try. I’ve attended every GlassWeekend since 1997, and it is a lot of fun, extremely social, relaxing and intimate. If you have attended in the past, how about coming back again? Keep your eyes open for all the details. In August, for this year’s AACG trip, you will not need a passport. We will be going to Asheville, North Carolina, for an extended weekend in conjunction with the annual Penland auction. Get some rest before this trip since it will be jam packed with exciting events. I want to thank Linda Greene and especially Tim Tate for helping to organize this trip. You must realize that if Tim is involved, this will not be a quiet, sedate, “not much going on” kind of trip. Registration should be available in February. Be on the lookout. November 5-8 is SOFA Chicago. For those of you who were worried about SOFA disappearing after it was sold, the SOFA this past November seemed bigger and better than ever. I want to thank Len Tenner and his committee for making the entire SOFA/AACG weekend such a success. Finally, I want to thank our charming auctioneer, Ron Bernardi, who promised to return in 2015.
Our membership should know that at my request, board member and now a vice president of AACG, Larry Eisenberg, put together an extremely comprehensive survey for our board and advisory council to complete. The purpose of the survey was simply to see if, after 27 years, AACG was doing what it was supposed to be doing and living up to the AACG mission statement. Larry’s efforts were at a level much greater than I expected, and I can’t thank him enough. At our annual board meeting in Chicago, Larry reported that of the 80 or so respondees, only two felt that AACG wasn’t headed in the right direction. Since I wasn’t privy to the specific results, I have no idea who those two were. Nevertheless, since 97.5% of our board and advisory council respondents felt we were going in the right direction, I promise to continue to do the best job I can for AACG.
We will be updating our by-laws, doing some restructuring of our board and advisory council, and overall streamlining some of the AACG procedures. I just want to make sure that as an organization, we will be thriving for years to come.
If, for some reason, you are not yet a member of AACG, I encourage you to join. I always look forward and appreciate hearing from any of our members and non-members who have comments or questions about anything related to AACG. Please contact me at email@example.com or call my office at 631-979-6000.
Harlan J. Fischer