Many of those working in glass in the 1980’s and 1990’s were loyal
subscribers to Professional Stained Glass
, a commercial magazine
published in New England. The publication regretfully ceased operation
in the early ‘90’s. The magazine’s professional efforts in the field of glass art had included not only the magazine and large-scale conventions, but a “Committee of 100” – an unused resource of dedicated supporters.
For more than twelve years, amateur glass artist Gerry Phibbs of Glendale, California, had been the leader of the glass arts section in the early CompuServe Information System, hosting an online forum for information and discussion about glass art. In an effort to expand and build upon the sense of community that he’d found online, Gerry decided on his own to contact the 80 or so committed members of the then defunct PSG’s “Committee of 100” and others in the general glass community.
With that list in hand, and many phone calls and snail-mailed letters later, an agreement was reached with a small but committed group to start this “non-traditional” glass artists’ organization, and the International Guild of Glass Artists, Inc. (IGGA) was born. The early support of such artists as Avery Anderson, Jessy Carrara, Mary Ann Celinder, Nancy Current, John Emery, Lutz Haufschild, Yves Trudeau, and Monona Rossol made it possible.
In those early years, the all volunteer organization moved in fits and starts to deal with the growing regular activities of this newly-formed 501(c)(6) non-for-profit artists’ trade organization. In 1993 the IGGA presented the collection of slides known as the “Light Show” at an art glass convention in Boston (digital version now on our home page) and by the following year a quarterly newsletter, Common Ground: GLASS was edited, printed and mailed out to all members of the IGGA, as well as to others in the community of glass.
As time went by the guild continued to flesh out their VISION, expand its membership and develop ties with suppliers, galleries and other glass associations. The IGGA remains inclusive, accepting all who work with glass as an artistic medium or who appreciate glass art. Our Mission is now as it began – “to facilitate communication among glass artists, to encourage education and to promote excellence in the glass arts.” Our thanks to those who continue to serve and work toward fulfilling the Mission of the IGGA.