Get ready, folks! The SGAA is heading to Kansas City this year, hosted by Monarch Studio & Tyler Kimball, with co-hosts Andrea Denning of Denning Stained Glass & Kathy Barnard of Kathy Barnard Studio. Our theme? "Sand to Sash"! Join us as we explore glass from conception to sheet to final installation and beyond, with numerous exciting opportunities to engage with the material in new ways.

Sand to Sash: Kansas City 2024

SGAA 113th Annual Conference
Sand to Sash: Kansas City 2024
October 2-6, 2024
Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center


Laurie Wells presenting at the General Session, 2019 San Antonio

General Session

Each year during General Session, we bring together speakers from around the world to speak about restoration, conservation, public art, history, and technology in the field. It is not uncommon to have roundtables to tackle emerging issues or panels of experts to provide clarity on how industry elements are being tackled across the country.

Speakers and lectures are chosen by a panel of peers for both their content and enthusiasm. The expertise of historians, conservators, and contemporary practitioners come together in a unique way to celebrate the enormous diversity of the entire industry. We also focus on bringing in experts in parallel industries and from the preservation community to further break down silos between ourselves and the fields we engage with.

Narcissus teaching at the 2019 Conference

Workshops & Seminars

Conferences offer a unique opportunity to learn both beginning and advanced techniques and are often geared toward the unique strengths of that year’s conference host.

We tailor the workshops at each conference to nearby facilities and studio resources that are unique to that year's location. We have offered classes in stained glass painting, sandblasting, engraving, stained glass design, design, advanced studio techniques, beginning and advanced kilnforming, screenprinting, lamination, acid etching, angel gilding, restoration and more.

Seminars are in depth presentations by industry experts and business leaders meant to help our attendees focus on scaling up their technical skills and tackle business issues specific to our industry's needs.

We have been very fortunate to work with incredible teachers from all over the globe at our conferences - leaders in the field who have often generously donated their time to share their knowledge with our members and attendees.


2017 Mosaic Marathon in process

Mosaic Marathon

The Society of American Mosaic Artists (SAMA) is the largest nonprofit mosaic art organization in the world—a vibrant and ever-expanding group of more than 1,200 members, including mosaic artists at all levels, mosaic aficionados, collectors, materials suppliers, and art educators.  SAMA has put renewed emphasis on strengthening ties with other mosaic organizations around the globe to pursue common goals.

The Mosaic Marathon brings together our members for a unique opportunity to create a mosaic in a cooperative, continuous, networking experience.  The Mosaic Marathon creates a lasting piece of art that is donated to a local charity in our host conference city.  As a not-for-profit organization, this is an opportunity for SAMA to give back to the arts community and create a lasting reminder of the legacy of SAMA and its mission. At our joint conferences with SAMA, it's a thrill to be able to work on this unique community project together!


2024 Makers & Manufacturers Tour

Tours & Field Sessions

The history and appreciation of stained glass is inseparable from both its setting as an architectural element and of the very nature of the material itself. For craftsmen and artists in the field to gain exposure to the vast living museums of stained glass, they must visit stained glass all over the world whenever they can. Installations all over the world are our museums, our laboratories, and our classrooms.

Thus, when we come together as a group, we must take advantage of our travel and our companions to go and experience installations, to discuss them with our peers, and to investigate ongoing care and restoration concerns that affect us all. This is one of the most useful ways we can learn as a group. 

Nearly every conference includes at least one full day of site visits and installation tours. In addition, our community has been known to schedule and participate in special travel opportunities both in the United States and abroad to experience as much stained glass as possible. 

The tours are almost always stand-alone events which can be attended outside of General Session participation and are often open to the public. 



Auction & Scholarships

At each conference, members have the opportunity to browse through tables laden with books, sample sets, vendor products, tools, and artwork from members. Our annual silent and live auction at the summer conference is a major source of funding for scholarship assistance. Donations directly fund scholarships for professional stained glass instruction all over the country and beyond. 

On exhibition years, work is donated to our live auction, which is an opportunity to collect autonomous work by any number of our talented members.

"I have been attending conferences for decades and I have collected all of these panels made by these incredible artists that inspire me. They are hanging in my breakfast nook. Now, I feel like I am eating breakfast with my friends even between conferences and it is fabulous."
                                   - S.G., New York


Awards Banquet 2018

Camaraderie, Networking & Celebration

The highlight of each year is our annual conference. The hub of the entire conference is the Vendor Hall. Year after year we build on the shoulders of giants, sharing our cumulative knowledge with one another. The magic of providing space for the unplanned to occur: the intermingling of artist, craftsmen, business people and suppliers. They exchange ideas, have impromptu demonstrations, and socialize.

We host as many meals as we can throughout the conference. Networking starts over breakfast; mentorships take form by lunch. If there's an exhibition at the conference, plan on spending at least one evening at that site as a group, being inspired by work happening around the world.

At our membership meetings and presentations, we not only attend to the business of the day, we recognize those who have achieved professional recognition in the field. We seek to learn what challenges may face us next. We are just as eager to hear from emerging professionals as we are to hear from the recognized experts.

Each annual conference ends with an award banquet where we celebrate Lifetime Achievements as well as up-and-coming voices. We have been extremely fortunate over the years to hear from a number of distinguished speakers at our banquets who have given luscious, inspiring presentations to send us energetically on our way.   

MGAI Exhibition Opening

Friendships & Networking

Laurie Wells, Old World Stone - credit_Mark F Heffron

Education & Inspiration

Mary Clerkin Higgins on Restoration Panel, San Antonio 2019 - Photo Credit: Kyle J. Mickelson

Industry News & Information

Travel & Discovery