Celebrating 40 years of the Scottish Glass Society

Image: Alison Kinnaird / Photography by SGS

Image: Alison Kinnaird / Photography by SGS

To celebrate 40 years of the Scottish Glass Society (SGS), the Society have curated a jam-packed programme of exemplary exhibitions and events throughout the country.

The Scottish Glass Society dates back to April 1979, when a meeting took place at Pollok House in Glasgow, where the steering committee who were elected would draw up the constitution. The inaugural meeting of the committee occurred later that year in October at Perth Museum and Art Gallery, where the draft constitution was presented, discussed and adopted. The first full meeting of the Society commenced in January 1980 in Edinburgh.

The Society is now a registered Scottish Charity based in WASPS studios in Glasgow, whose mission is to promote the appreciation, understanding and development of contemporary Scottish Glass.

Image: Inge Paneels / Photographer unknown

The Society encourages excellence and aims to promote and raise the profile of its members’ work through holding exhibitions, catalogues, and events as well as expanding, engaging and educating the public in Scotland and beyond. The Society has strong links with leading museums, galleries, glass festivals and glass organisations. Their annual programme invites internationally recognised artists, curators, and glass experts to sit as jurors for their exhibitions.

Championing the work of Scotland-based glass artists, the Society offers memberships to makers who studied in Scotland, have Scottish connections, a strong interest in glass associated with the country, or who simply want to be a part of the Society. Alongside Scotland’s makers, this also includes students, curators, historians, organisations and individuals who are passionate about maintaining Scotland’s glass movement.

Catherine Lowe, Chair of the Scottish Glass Society said, “Celebrating our 40th anniversary is a real landmark year for the Society. Our 40th-anniversary celebrations reflect the diversity and range of glass practice in Scotland, in both contemporary and traditional techniques and processes.”

“The committee is excited about further developing partnership, working with other key players in the sector in order to create opportunities for members to develop their own practice and for the wider public to experience the joys of glass.”

Image: (left to right) Moonju Suh and Hannah Gibson at the On the Edge exhibition / Image provided by SGS

Through funding from Creative Scotland’s Open Project Funding, the celebratory programme commenced in July with On The Edge, a juried exhibition bringing together 18 members including Hannah Gibson, Pinkie Maclure, Gregory Aliss and Moonju Suh. The exhibition ran throughout the month of July in conjunction with Celebration!, an additional open exhibition.

Featuring the work of over 25 members Celebration! was an opportunity to experience many different glass making techniques and forms. The joint exhibitions were held at North Lands Creative and The Trades Hall of Glasgow in September 2019.

In addition, Convergence, an exhibition showcasing new work from renowned glass artists Vidar Koksvik, Harry Morgan, Karlyn Sutherland, took place at The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh from Wednesday 28 August to Saturday 28 September 2019. The exhibition also showcased a new collaboration from Inge Panneels and photographer Kevin Greenfield.

Image: Visitors to the On The Edge exhibition / Image provided by SGS

This month’s exhibition, The Art of Glass in Scotland: 40 years of the Scottish Glass Society, will chart the work of the Society as well as the history of Scottish glass over the last forty years, showcasing key artists, artworks and techniques. The exhibition tours to Dunoon Burgh Hall, Dunoon until Sunday 27 October 2019, then St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh on Wednesday 30 October to Monday 18 November 2019 and The Lighthouse, Glasgow from Thursday 21 November to Sunday 22 December 2019.

Alongside the series of exhibitions is a variety of events, including talks and tours. Dr Jessamy Kelly, a lecturer in Glass and a practicing glass artist, will talk about the Glass programme at the Edinburgh College of Art, on Wednesday 30 October 2019. Curator’s tours will also be held throughout October and November at the National Museum of Scotland, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow and there is also a self-guided tour at The McManus - Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum.

Image: Catherine Carr / Image provided by SGS

Tanwen Llewelyn, Craft Scotland’s Outreach and Engagement Officer, who is also a practicing glass artist said, “The Scottish Glass Society is great for those who wish to connect with other fellow glass artists, arts professionals and industry experts from around Scotland. This gives us the opportunity to see what other work goes on out there, share knowledge and exhibit alongside each other at annual events.”

Looking to the future, with the help of Creative Scotland’s Open Project Funding, the Society will assess how they will continue to support and promote both the work of its members and the wider glass sector beyond their 40th-anniversary celebrations. This will involve using feedback from members and key players in the sector to create a five-year development plan for the Society.

Members of the Society are encouraged to get involved in exclusive events, including the SGS AGM event at St Mary’s Cathedral on Saturday 9 November 2019, an opportunity for members to hear proposals on the Society’s five-year plan and share their views regarding future funding bids. A detective-inspired event will be held at Stained Glass Supplies on Saturday 16 November 2019, encouraging members to uncover the mystery behind a glass art piece. Plus, Scottish Glass Now, a networking event for glass artists that will take place at the University of Edinburgh on Wednesday 27 November 2019.

To find out more about the extensive programme, or to join as a member, visit the Scottish Glass Society website.

Materials Glass

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