WGS Hosts Arizona Glass Alliance

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Director Tim Tate welcomes visiting members of the Arizona Glass Alliance to the Washington Glass School.

The Arizona Glass Alliance – part of the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass - brought a busload of collectors, artists, and glass aficionados to Washington, DC this past week. The glass group visited notable local collections, Maurine Littleton Gallery and wound up their tour of the Nation’s Capitol with dinner and a show at the Washington Glass School.

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Flux Studio’s Novie Trump describes what delights await the collectors as they continue their visit to the next door studio.

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Sean Hennessey’s new works are spectacular!

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Nadine Saylor poses in front of her works on exhibit.

The night was further enhanced with a strolling ukelele troubadour wandering thru the exhibit playing, and an all seeing psychic “Madame Raya” foretold the future for all visitors.

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The future looks bright – especially in front of a work by Sean Hennessey! Well done, Madame Raya!

Glass artist and photographer Josh Hershman shows his kiln cast glass cameras, and integrated the visiting AZ crew and the artists showing into a new artwork.

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Joshua Hershman’s cast glass cameras.

Josh used his glass camera as the lens for photo images he created using hand-held lighting. The camera and light creates a surreal, bizarre and haunting image of his subjects.

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Josh Hershman preps his model at the Glass School darkroom.

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Joshua Hershman’s evocative photo images will ultimately be printed on glass.

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GAS Clarifies Arizona Conf Cancellation

>An earlier post listed the Glass Art Society (GAS) cancellation of the planned 2011 GAS Conference in Tuscon Arizona.

The Board of Directors for GAS has issued a clarification, emailed out to the members of the glass artist organization on the reasons behind the decision to cancel the Arizona conference.

“Dear GAS Members:

The Board of Directors and the Executive Director would like to thank you for your many communications regarding the recent decision to cancel the 2011 Annual Conference in Tucson for financial reasons. It became evident from the many comments we received, both supporting and opposing the decision, that further explanation regarding our organization’s budgeting process would be helpful to all.

From the onset, the Board did not make this decision based on the new Arizona immigration law. Personal opinions of Board Members cannot be allowed to influence such an important decision, and the diversity of the Board ensures this. GAS depends financially on its Annual Conference to generate funds for operating the association. Our membership dues alone do not pay for all we do: staffing, office rental, communications, travel, website, GASnews, the GAS Journal, etc…we need to make money at the Conference not just to survive, but to thrive. A poorly attended Conference puts a serious strain on the finances, if not jeopardizing the organization financially.

Without getting into too much financial detail (a budget is provided and discussed at the annual business meeting): the Conference needs to have a surplus of about $175,000 to cover all associated costs. In addition, a financial “bolster” is needed to cover the International Conferences, which are part of our mission but are also much more costly. We do have a contingency account invested for the long term, but due to the economy and conference attendance, this reserve will be tapped into this year. GAS therefore finds itself in a particularly sensitive year financially, which affects all of its decisions.
How does the Conference support the organization? In several ways:
REGISTRATION FEES
HOTEL REBATES TO NON-PROFITS
TOURS
WEDNESDAY PRECONFERENCE RECEPTION/DINNER (Fundraiser)
THE GAS AUCTION
SITE CITY CONTRIBUTION ($100,000 MINIMUM)
Our finances become critical when attendance is poor. The following leads to losses for the organization:
LOSSES IN REGISTRATION FEES
HOTEL ATTRITION PAYMENTS INSTEAD OF REBATES
CANCELLATION OF TOURS
NO INCOME AT THE BENEFIT
LOWER INCOME AT THE AUCTION
DROP IN MEMBERSHIP INCOME DUE TO LACK OF RENEWALS (SOME MEMBERS TEND TO RENEW ONLY WHEN THEY COME TO THE CONFERENCE)

All of this adds up, sometimes in the hundreds of thousands, and goes against our Annual Budget. How did this affect our decision to cancel Tucson?

POOR ATTENDANCE AT ANY CONFERENCE, DESPITE A BEAUTIFULLY PLANNED PROGRAM, MEANS WE WILL BE DIPPING INTO OUR CONTINGENCY FUNDS.
THE TUCSON SITE COMMITTEE HAD YET TO SECURE ENOUGH FUNDS FROM THE CITY OR REGIONAL PROVIDERS TO MEET THE $100,000 COMMITMENT, DESPITE GOING THROUGH THEIR HIGH SEASON.
THE PROSPECT OF MEMBERS NOT ATTENDING BECAUSE OF THEIR OPPOSITION TO THE IMMIGRATION POLICY WOULD HAVE MEANT AN EVEN GREATER FINANCIAL BURDEN TO THE ORGANIZATION.
WE HAVE A SMALL WINDOW TO FIND ANOTHER LOCATION THAT WOULD NOT BE OBJECTIONABLE TO OUR MEMBERSHIP.

We, the Board of Directors of the Glass Art Society, have a difficult job ahead of us. Not only do we oversee the programming for the organization and the Conference, we also have the responsibility for its financial survival. We want to be able to pass the Board over to future members in sound shape, as we have so far. Let me assure you that we have struggled with the weighty decision of canceling a Conference site, we did so to guarantee Conferences in the future.
The Board will be meeting on Saturday, June 12, at 12 noon the Rose Room of the Marriott Hotel for the Annual Business Meeting. Anyone who has further questions about Tucson, the budget, or GAS in general, should attend this meeting, as it is open to all members.

Best regards,

Shane Fero
President
Glass Art Society “

Glass Art Society Cancels Arizona Conference

>The Glass Art Society (GAS) has made a strong statement – they have cancelled the 2011 international conference scheduled to be held in Tuscon, Arizona, citing concerns about financial concerns and also concerns about the “political climate” (the immigration law SB1070). Below is an excerpt from a letter sent to members:

“On Wednesday of this week, the Glass Art Society Board of Directors, charged with the fiduciary responsibility of the organization, decided to cancel the 2011 GAS conference in Tucson, scheduled to be held, April 7-9, 2011.

The decision was not taken lightly by anyone. The Board clearly appreciates and understands the tremendous amount of work that has been put in to the 2011 conference by Tucson and GAS. Ultimately, a decision had to be made and had to be made quickly, based on the organization’s finances and the need to avoid a large deficit for the fiscal year had to take precedent over any other sentiments the Board members have.

The Glass Art Society is a 501 (c) 3 organization. As a not-for-profit, we are feeling the affects of the waning economy as well. GAS is not boycotting the state of Arizona but made the decision to cancel the conference because the economics did not support going forward in this political climate. With a Latin American focus for this conference, the controversial issues in the state are particularly poignant. Whether glass artists south of the US border would come; whether GAS would be liable for things that could happen in Arizona for the Latino members; whether GAS could weather the negative economic impact to the organization that this issue could cause; whether in this economic climate the local committee could raise the money needed for the conference; were all issues that the Board needed to consider.

Although an alternative site has not been selected, the date will definitely change. We propose that the conference will now be June 9-11, 2011. GAS has much to do now to find an alternative site and program the conference with changes that will be needed. We expect to announce a new location at the Louisville Conference in June.”

The GAS 2010 conference is scheduled to take place this coming June 10 -12 in Louisville, KY. Click HERE to jump to the conference website.

UPDATE:

The Glass Art Society sent its members an email June 04, 2010 that included a clarification of its reasons for the cancellation of the 2011 conference. Click HERE to jump to text of the GAS letter.