“Explorations in Change: Architectural Art Glass
and Disaster Restoration.”
by Katei Gross
“One of the most impressive SGAA meetings I have ever attended.”
“It will take me some time to sort out all the layered images and emotions of this experience – the earmark of a successful meeting.”
“Everyone in the organization was just amazing!”
“I loved Gordon Huether (the Keynote Speaker).”
“I left this meeting really up with a true feeling of excitement for the future of the glass arts.”
With one of the main topics of the conference centered on disaster restoration with coverage over every major disaster from 9/11, to the Oklahoma City bombing to Katrina, it could have been a depressing event. Instead we were witness to the courage, resilience and determination of the American people. It was wonderful to see how studios have worked with committees across the country to rebuild what has been lost by fire, flood and the actions of man. We learned a valuable lesson on how to work with those who have lost everything, their world now reflected in pieces of shattered glass, ash and mud. Our gratitude to Martin Rambusch, Rambusch Decorating Company; Roy Loman, Loman Studio; Jules Mominee, Mominee Studios; Cynthia Courage, Attenhofer’s Stained Glass, and Kathy Jordan, The Art of Glass.
Also very exciting were the wonderful works presented by Ellen Mandelbaum and Kathy Barnard. Their work is pushing the edge of contemporary glass using traditional techniques in very new and inspiring glass presentations. Ms. Barnard also spoke about the different approaches she has to working with a committee to create long term relationships with her clients. Speaking of contemporary, Gordon Huether, our keynote speaker, was met with a standing ovation at the end of his lecture. He threw open the doors to incredible new possibilities in the architectural glass arts.
One of the most exciting events was the announcement of the next step in planning the permanent home for the Stained Glass Association of America and the Stained Glass School. Grants have been applied for and the membership was presented with a possible concept for the new building. Many decisions are still ahead of us but the membership was thrilled and showed their enthusiasm for the work being done.
Art, art and more art: our tour this year included the First Presbyterian Church, filled with generations of Willet windows. We also visited Deaconess Hospital which features installations by Karen Hendrix. Then it was off to the museums. The Oklahoma City Art Museum houses a wonderful collection of contemporary, interactive and expressionist art and is also home to the largest collection of Chihuly in the United States. When in Oklahoma, one must visit the National Cowboy Museum. This is a serious and massive collection of incredible Western, Southwest and Native American art.
We would like to thank all of the companies who participated in our first Sponsor’s Showcase. The members unanimously want to see more sponsors displaying their products and available to speak with conference attendees next year. Everyone liked the displays being located in the lecture room rather than off in a tradeshow hall. During breaks, members eagerly took advantage of their presence by admiring products, asking questions, and watching videos and power point presentations at sponsor tables.
The conference concluded with a beautiful but emotional memorial to Karen Hendrix entitled “The Heart of an Artist” by Editor, Richard Gross. Karen was our conference host but passed away in December of 2008. Her presence was there at the conference with more than 25 members of her family and friends in attendance. All of her hard work could be felt – for the conference, for the Association, as a past president, and as an incredible artist. The gift of her art and of her smile will always be with us.
The SGAA Annual Summer Conference for 2010 is already being planned. We will be meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Mark your calendars for Kansas City 2010 – June 28 through June 30, 2010. Pre-Conference Classes will be held on June 26th and 27th.