Normally I update this president’s message about four times each year to coincide with the AACG quarterly newsletter. However, I have to make an exception and share some joy with all of our members and other visitors to our award winning website.
The Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass completed its semi-annual board meeting, May 1st through May 4th, in Knoxville, Tennessee. We held the meeting there so it would be in conjunction with the unveiling of Richard Jolley’s “Cycle of Life” project in the Ann and Steve Bailey Hall of the Knoxville Museum of Art. A year ago, when I first mentioned to our board members that I was planning a few days in Knoxville to coincide with the unveiling of Richard’s ‘Cycle of Life’, the reaction was; “KNOXVILLE?" Well, I must tell you, our board has had its best weekend and board meeting ever.
Knoxville is great. Everyone was extremely friendly and helpful. Plus, the Knoxville Museum of Art, which is the recipient of AACG’s Annual Award for 2014, is an outstanding world-class facility. David Butler, the director welcomed us with open arms. Stephen Wicks, the head curator led us on a tour of an outstanding glass exhibition called “Facets of Modern and Contemporary Glass” (which was made possible by a grant from AACG), and he did an outstanding job. He was one of the most interesting curators that I have met in a long time. We all attended a symposium at the KMA which was followed by a 30 minute video of Richard’s project that took five years to complete. Some of us had a preview of this at Richard’s presentation at SOFA Chicago in 2013. The video was excellent. Please try to see it whenever it is available to the public. The museum festivities culminated with a black tie gala event (at which your AACG board and advisory board members looked quite handsome) on Saturday evening where Richard’s outstanding work was made public for the first time. What a treat.
The people of Knoxville (not all of them, of course) opened their homes to us as if we were long lost friends. I can now truly understand the term ‘Southern Hospitality’ because I think we experienced it at its zenith.
While there are many people to thank for making our visit such a success, and as your president, I did send letters out to them all, I would to publicly thank Tommie Rush, without whose help and guidance this meeting could never have been the success it was. I also want to congratulate Richard Jolley for his vision and his talent.
If any of our readers have a chance to visit Knoxville, take it. The last time I was there was 1970. It has changed a lot since then. Most likely you won’t have to bring a Tux or evening wear. The Holiday Inn World’s Fair Park is a great place to stay. They took good care of us. Tell them you belong to AACG and they will take care of you as well. You’d be within walking distance of about 30-40 restaurants.
OK, I’ve gushed enough. Let’s move on to some other subjects.
If you are not yet aware, SOFA Chicago has been moved back a week so that opening night will be on Thursday, November 6th. The event will run through Sunday, November 9th. When AACG planned this year’s trip to Israel, SOFA was to be a week earlier, giving those that wanted to attend SOFA and go on the trip, that opportunity. However the date change was out of our control. Since the 2015 AACG trip to Asheville will be from August 5th through August 8th, (Save the date. It will be great.), there will be no conflict with SOFA next year. As long as I mentioned 2015, Glass Weekend will be held from June 12th through the 14th at the Wheaton Arts Center in Millville, NJ. This bi-annual event is always a lot of fun, so you will want to put this on your calendar as well.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office at 631-979-6000..
Harlan J. Fischer