Thursday, December 19, 2013

A set of sunsets?

2014 Festival of Glass exhibitor Janet Jenkin was an award winner at the Bead Society of Victoria's annual exhibition in November.

The award was for the best set of 5 non-identical handmade beads around the theme, 'Sunset'. Janet took a novel twist in the theme and her set of five beads each features the silhouette of a particular tree at sunset. 'I made the lampwork bead bases then embellished the surfaces using a technique that I’ll teach in my Doddlebeads workshop at the Festival of Glass', said Janet.

The set is featured below; they are (L to R): Tropical Palm, Saguaro Cactus, Australian Grass Tree, African Umbrella Thorn Tree and Australian Bottle Tree.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Not just diverse ... kaleidoscopic!

'Oilscope'
The 2014 Festival of Glass is very pleased to announce that among the fifty-odd exhibitors will be the Tasmanian Kaleidoscope Company.

The company sells a range of hand-made kaleidoscopes, each one made of fine Tasmanian timber. Kaleidoscopes look similar to telescopes and - like telescopes - they rely on lenses for their operation. However, through a kaleidoscope you can see an ever-shifting pattern of shapes and colours.

Owner Ben Kurczok took over the former Tasmanian Kaleidoscope Factory in 2002 and changed its name to the Tasmanian Kaleidoscope Company. Ben's kaleidoscopes use various devices to create those patterns, including a chamber containing coloured agate and glass suspended in a clear, viscose fluid; a custom-made glass marble; and an optical lens.
'Cycloscope'

For more information, see the company's web site:
www.http://kaleidoscopecompany.com/



Monday, December 16, 2013

Architectural glass - hard to exhibit!

Contemporary architecture is a subject that arouses love, hate and every emotion in between.

Many contemporary buildings - love them or hate them - feature some extraordinary uses of glass. Here are just a few examples: the Health Department headquarters in Bilbao, Spain;  the 'Futurescope' theme park in Poitiers, France; and the National Grand Theatre in Beijing, China. (Look them up on Google 'Images'.)

The Festival of Glass would love to present such spectacular examples of contemporary architectural glass in our glass Expo, but you can't exhibit a building in a gallery! We can learn something from the annual Mansfield Glass Art Exposition, which this year  launched the Axess Glass Architectural Glass Project Award.  This award recognises excellence in the design and execution of a major architectural glass project installed in a building or outdoor setting in the past 5 years. The work entered must have been designed by an Australian-based glass artist or collaborative team and made predominantly of glass.

The judges considered up to 6 electronic images of each work, together with and a statement about the work fits the project brief in terms of, e.g., the building's context, aesthetics and function; together with the relevant standards for the site and conditions, energy efficiency and installation.

Some of the award winners are featured here.

 As a tentative first step into the world of architectural glass, the 2014 Festival of Glass will include a feature on glass and architecture in the 'Glass and Film' event that premieres at the Expo.

Featured artist: Michelle Shearer

'Immense' Michelle Shearer
A warm Festival of Glass welcome to Michelle Shearer, who will be exhibiting at the Festival's Glass Expo on Sunday 16 February 2014.

Michelle has skills in painting, drawing, sculpture, digital image making and animation; and she now applies these skills to the process of slumping, fusing and kiln-forming glass. She runs the 'Sand and Fire' studio in Terang, Victoria  and her piece 'Immense' (featured) was among the Top Five People's Choice at the Mansfield Art Glass exposition in October 2014.

Featured artist: Kim Manley

We look forward to welcoming Kim Manley to the 2014 Festival of Glass.
'Contained' Kim Manley

Kim's kiln-formed pieces combine linearity with a more 'organic' images from nature. Her 'Contained' (featured here) won the Axess Glass 'New Artist' Award at the Mansfield Art Glass exposition in October this year.

Monday, December 9, 2013

2014 Festival - new attractions join popular regular features


Lara Glass at the 2013 Festival
The fourth annual Festival of Glass happens in mid-February 2014 in Drysdale, Victoria. Each year, the Festival attracts thousands of visitors and the 2014 Festival adds two new attractions to its popular regular features.

The heart of the 2014 Festival of Glass is a glass Expo, which features stalls by around fifty local and interstate artists, craftspeople and companies; demonstrations of glass-working techniques; the prize-winners of the annual Drysdale Glass Awards; and an hourly chance to win glass collectibles donated by exhibitors.

The 2014 Expo is on Sunday February 16 2014 between 10.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. at Christian College, 40 Collins Street, Drysdale. (Melway 238 G8) At this new, well-ventilated venue, exhibitors and visitors can enjoy the exhibits and activities in comfort. Entrance to the Expo is free and each year it attracts thousands of visitors.
NEW ATTRACTION 1. The 2014 Expo will include Glass on Film - a festival of short films presenting the art, craft and industry of glass.

Visitors to the 2014 Expo can enjoy a full day out in Drysdale, visiting the nearby monthly Drysdale Market, visiting the local wineries and olive farms and riding the historic Bellarine Peninsula Railway between Drysdale and Queenscliff.

Other Festival of Glass events
A Bottleneck Guitar evening on Saturday 15 February 2014 at the Harvester Moon restaurant, 2320 Portarlington Road, Bellarine. (Bookings and enquiries: 5259 3200) Eat and drink to the sounds of blues band Mr. Black & Blue; and consider making a bid in an auction of glass collectibles. A popular feature of the 2013 Festival of Glass.

NEW ATTRACTION 2. The 2014 Festival will host a series of workshops run by Festival exhibitors, several of whom have won awards for their work. Dates and places to be announced.

The Festival of Glass is an initiative of the Drysdale & Clifton Springs Community Association Inc. Unique in Australia, it joins a handful of similar events worldwide. We thank our major sponsors the City of Greater Geelong and the Bendigo Bank.

More information
Doug Carson (Festival Convenor) 0418 371 308   ccd21@bigpond.net.au
Festival Web site      www.festivalofglass.net.au

Thursday, September 26, 2013

New international links for the Festival of Glass


Festival of Glass convenor Doug Carson attended New Zealand’s Wanganui Glass Festival in September.
David Traub

The Wanganui festival stretches over a week, with one or more events each day, including ‘open days’ at glass artists’ studios (including David Traub's, whose work is shown here). During the week, several shops in the main street feature window displays by festival participants, all of whom are members of the Wanganui Glass Group. The Wanganui Glass School is a major player in the festival. Its students help to run the festival, which offers them a major showcase for their work. Further, many past students of the Wanganui Glass School have stayed in the town after graduating, contributing to the town’s reputation as a centre of glass art in New Zealand.

 Artists and organisers at Wanganui were keen to maintain the link with the Drysdale festival. Wanganui organisers are considering making a festival video to act as a ‘virtual’ presence at the 2014 Festival of Glass and several Wanganui artists have said that they’d like to exhibit there.

Glass and economic development
The festival’s success hasn’t just happened by itself. Festival organisers and the local council have worked hard together to promote the festival as a major cultural event attended by dealers, collectors artists. The result is a major attraction for domestic and overseas tourists, even though glass souvenirs in the luggage can be a problem!

The festival’s success is good news for the local economy, attracting more artists to establish businesses in the area and attracting more money into the area from dealers, collectors and tourists. Wanganui businesses have responded by participating actively in the festival, giving over their shop fronts to displays, posters and banners.

Here are just a couple of examples of how the Wanganui festival is affecting the local economy:
  • A local real estate agent ‘donated’ an empty shop in the CBD, which festival organisers made into a ‘pop-up’ (temporary) gallery of glass art and sculpture.
  • Glass artists Jimi and Lisa Walsh’s annual ‘open studio’ in nearby Waverley has become a focus of community life, with local people signing up well in advance to be a ‘curator for a day’.
And just a reminder ….
Drysdale’s annual Festival of Glass is a DCSCA initiative. Its focus is a Glass Expo on the third Sunday in February, plus events before and afterwards. The 2013 Expo featured over 70 exhibitors; visitors to the 2014 Festival Expo will see all this plus a glass art competition and demonstrations and classes in various glass working techniques.

Doug Carson’s visit was made possible by a grant from the City of Greater Geelong’s Arts & Culture Department. Doug will talk about his visit at a city-wide grants meeting later this year.

Festival of Glass web sites:

Thursday, August 1, 2013

'Animated' glass doors

Fridge manufacturer Skope is 'animating' the glass doors of its fridges.

Skope retail fridges now come with a clear LCD screen attached behind the door, turning the door into an advertising billboard that can show still or animated images. Skope is promoting the feature as a way for fridge-owners to add value to their purchase by using it to display advertising. The screen can be connected to the internet, enabling it to be updated remotely, including Twitter feeds to take advantage of (e.g.) hot days, special offers.

As a display space, however, such animated glass doors could have many uses other than advertising (think of the comparison with television!). They could be used to communicate to all sorts of audiences - whether the fridge is 'in-house' (e.g. employee information via the fridge in the workplace) or in a public space (e.g. promoting films forthcoming at a cinema).

Monday, March 18, 2013

'Glass' could help people with disabilities


Google's project Glass offers 'augmented reality' - computer and smart phone technology - through a pair of glass spectacles.

Google's Glass project
Glass is controlled via voice commands, rather than any form of keyboard. It also superimposes text over the view through the glasses - a form of the 'heads up display' being installed in the windscreens of planes and - soon - some cars.

To promote Glass, Google ran a competition online - 'If I Had Glass' - that attracted thousands of ideas (sorry - it closed on February 27). Many of these consisted, essentially, of doing the sorts of things that we do already on laptops and tablets, e.g. presenting reviews of hotels and restaurants, analysing information about meals and workouts to track daily calorie turnover. More interestingly, disability advocacy group Media Access Australia (MAA) (www.mediaaccess.org.au) has grasped the potential for Glass to enhance the lives of people with disabilities.

So Che was an early adopter of Glass!
MAA's suggestions concern three areas. The first is mobility, where the device's reliance on voice commands could enable people with conditions (e.g. arthritis, quadriplegia) that restrict their mobility to perform tasks normally associated with keyboards. Secondly, Glass could help people with impaired hearing. Already, it can display captions automatically; as the software develops, Glass could convert speech to text and superimpose it over the view through the glasses, 'essentially making real life conversation captioned' (MAA) and providing access to information communicated aurally (e.g. train time updates). Finally, while Glass has been developed with only sighted users in mind, MAA sees opportunities for it to assist people with sight impairments. 'For instance, Glass could integrate facial recognition software so that blind users are made aware of who is in front of them. Similarly, Glass could use optical character recognition to read out information such as street signs or identify landmarks.' (MAA)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

New TV - screen or pane?

One of Philips's promotional images

Glass enthusiasts will be interested to see 'DesignLine' - a new range of 'smart' televisions just launched by electronics company Philips.

The 'DesignLine' television consists of a single rectangular sheet of glass (46 or 55 inches wide) that shades from transparent to black and can lean against a wall, hang from it or be mounted on a stand. Does that make it a TV screen or a TV pane? The pictures are generated by a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD). 

Click on the link below to see a promotional video - note the absence of children, dogs or any of the business of a normal home! 


Monday, March 11, 2013

Changes in Australia's glass industry

Imminent plant closures by glass company Viridian Glass will change the shape of the Australian glass industry significantly.

Viridian is owned by building materials giant CSR, which announced today that Viridian's float and laminating glass factory in Ingleburn in south-west Sydney will close in July. Most of the work will be transferred to the company's Dandenong factory in Victoria, supplemented by some imports. CSR also announced that Viridian's two factories in Wetherill Park and Erskine Park, New South Wales, will merge by January 2014. At the same time, says CSR,Viridian is improving the quality of its products, its delivery times and its flexibility in responding to orders.

CSR blames the closure and merger on two factors. First, the high Australian dollar has meant that Viridian has suffered from stiff price competition internationally, especially by China. Indeed, Viridian will stop making glass-panel sliding doors locally, instead outsourcing them to China. Secondly, 40 per cent of Viridian's sales come from the hard-hit commercial construction sector of the building industry, which is expected to recover more slowly than predicted. (The residential sector appears to be improving - albeit modestly - in New South Wales, Western Australia and Queensland.)

The moves are expected to cost around $34 million and to boost annual earnings by $27 million from 2015. An estimated 150 jobs will be lost.

Dominant industry player

Viridian Glass is one of three companies that, between them, generate two-thirds of the revenue in the $3.23 billion Australian glass industry (the other two are Amcor and Owens-Illinois Australia). Viridian manufactures flat and rolled glass for the Australia and New Zealand markets and offers bulk processing services (e.g. cutting, laminating, toughening and mirroring) to glass distributors and to manufacturers of windows, shower screens, furniture and solar panels.

Building materials giant CSR bought Viridian at the height of the building cycle in 2007 for $865 million. However, CSR subsequently wrote-down Viridian's value to $214 million, because of the combination of the high dollar, cheaper imports and the decline in the construction industry. The acquisition still makes sense, because many of Viridian's products - especially its plate glass - align with other products in the construction-oriented CSR group.


SOURCES
1. CSR News release (11 March 2013) 'Restructure of Viridian glass operations and trading update.'
www.csr.com.au/Investor-Centre-and-News/News-Releases/Pages/Restructure-of-Viridian-glass-operations-and-trading-update.aspx
2. Ibis World (nd) 'Glass and glass product manufacturing in Australia: Market research report.' http://www.ibisworld.com.au/industry/default.aspx?indid=206

3. Wen, P. (3 August 2011) 'Cracks appear in a besieged glass industry.' Sydney Morning Herald.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

2013 Glass Expo beats the heat!

Crowds at the 2013 Festival of Glass
Thousands of people braved 38 degree conditions to visit the Glass Expo in Drysdale, Victoria on Sunday 17 February.

The Expo was the focus of the 2013 Festival of Glass, now in its third year. Visitors strolled around the 70-plus sites, looking at glass of all shapes, sizes, colours and forms. With so much diversity, there was something for everyone to see - from leadlight to lampwork, from splashbacks to platters and from beads to bottles.

A warm welcome
The Expo's official opening started with a 'Welcome to Country' from Uncle David Tournier, of the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-op in Geelong. This was followed by greetings from Doug Carson, Chair of the 2013 Festival of Glass committee, local councillor Rod Macdonald and state MP Lisa Neville. Finally, Geelong Mayor Cr. Keith Fagg declared the Expo officially open!

On Twitter, Cr. Fagg wrote: '@ Festival of Glass Opening. Stunning array of glass in all forms. All day Sunday at Bellarine College, Drysdale.' Thanks, Mr. Mayor!

After the opening ceremony, our guests talked with exhibitors as they walked around the Expo. They remarked on the diversity of the exhibits, the high quality of the entries in the glass-art competition and the attractiveness of the prizes in the raffle, each one donated by one of the exhibitors at this year's Festival.

Winners in the competition and raffle have been notified. Watch this blog for pictures of the winning entries and see a selection of the raffle prizes on the Festival web site (www.festivalofglass.net.au)

Kind words
Since the Expo, many exhibitors have posted messages of thanks and appreciation on the Festival's Facebook page. Several exhibitors were kind enough to remark on the Festival's high degree of organisation. E.g. 'We exhibitors don’t have to worry about anything other than our own tables during setup, take down, and the day itself.'

The Festival Committee is basking in those kind words .... before addressing the list of suggested improvements for 2014!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Blue Dog Glass invests in 2013 Festival of Glass

Glass supplier and educator Blue Dog Glass, in Oakley South, Melbourne, has generously donated two gift vouchers as prizes in the 2013 Festival of Glass competition for glass-related art and craft. One voucher is for $100 and the other is for $50 and each can be used to buy glass supplies from Blue Dog Glass.

Blue Dog Glass sells kiln formed glass, glass-working materials and tools, and runs classes in glass-working techniques. The company also undertakes commissions for specialist glass products, including cast hand prints, business or sporting awards and architectural lighting design. Blue Dog Glass classes are conducted by professional artists and offer students - from absolute beginners to professional artists - opportunities to learn in a friendly and creative environment.

A selection of Blue Dog Glass products is included in this article; lots more can be seen at their website:
www.bluedogglass.com.au/

The Festival Committee is delighted to see a major glass company such as Blue Dog Glass casting this significant vote of confidence in the Festival of Glass and we're very grateful to them for their support. Blue Dog Glass has been a major attraction at previous Festivals of Glass and - through its Facebook page - a consistent supporter of the Festival.  Thanks, Blue Dog!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Axess Glass invests in 2013 Festival of Glass


Glass supplier Axess Glass, in Thomastown, Melbourne, has generously donated two gift vouchers as prizes in the Festival of Glass competition for glass-related art and craft.

One voucher is for $100 and the other is for $50 and each can be used to buy glass supplies from Axess. A selection of Axess products is included in this article; lots more can be seen at the Axess website:
www.axessglass.com

The Festival Committee is delighted to see a major glass company such as Axess casting a vote of  confidence in the Festival of Glass and we're very grateful to Axess for its support.

Axess: 'Uroboros' art glass'
Axess (full title Axess Glass Products Australia) is a major importer and wholesale distributor of specialised glass and glass-working  tools and supplies to architectural and art glass studios. Its Thomastown facility holds over 3,000 products and over 30,000 sq metres of art glass, such as those illustrated here. As well as supporting architectural products, Axess markets its own laminated glass designs under the brand name 'DesignLam' (TM).
Axess glass nuggets
Axess: 'Wissmach' art glass

Thursday, February 7, 2013

We're getting talked about!

2013 Festival of Glass exhibitor Katrina Newman has just published an article about the Festival on her blog. (http://katrinanewman.com/2013/02/07/festival-of-glass/)

The article has a great photo (reproduced here) of some of Katrina's hand-made flamework beads annealing (cooling and hardening) in her kiln. As Katrina says, 'It's going to be a colourful day, do drop by and say hello'.


And also ....
The current edition of 'My Coastal Home' (distributed free with the Bellarine/Surf Coast Times) has a three-page feature about the 2013 Festival of Glass. It includes interviews with committee chair Doug Carson and with exhibitors Mark Edwards (Wathaurong Glass and Art) and David HobdayThe feature gives a real taste of the Festival, with background information and some striking photos of various exhibitors' work.

And finally ...
The 2013 Festival of Glass is in the 'Art/Craft' calendar (p.81) in the current edition of the RACV magazine (royalauto.com.au)

Monday, February 4, 2013

A preview of exhibits

Earrings: BeadyWendy

Several exhibitors have donated pieces of their work as prizes to the Festival of Glass raffle (tickets selling quickly!).

Here's just a selection of the prizes. They give a preview of the sorts of glass art and craft that will be on display on Sunday 17 February at the Bellarine Secondary College Sports Centre in Peninsula Road, Drysdale (10.00 am to 4.00 pm).

Glass platter: Jan Verouden
            
Glass platter: David Hobday
Bracelet: Monilform
Latern: Irena Lustin

Festival of Glass is good news for local businesses


Businesses on the north Bellarine can expect to benefit from being part of the 2013 Festival of Glass

Last year's Festival of Glass attracted 6,500 people - both locals and visitors - to the Bellarine Secondary College Sports Centre in Peninsula Drive. However, many Festival visitors didn't just attend the Festival and leave. We heard from local business afterwards that many visitors also:
·       browsed the nearby monthly Drysdale Market
·       rode the Bellarine Peninsula Railway between Drysdale and Queenscliff
·       visited nearby cafes, shops and nurseries.

The result? Local businesses that were open on the day of the Festival saw significant increases in sales. We would like all local businesses to share their success.

What can local businesses do?
This year's Festival of Glass will feature significantly more exhibitors than last year's, so the Festival committee is hoping for an even greater attendance. Here are just a few suggestions for how a local business might benefit from the Festival:
·       Consider opening on February 17 between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm. An open, bustling Drysdale is more likely to attract Festival visitors. If you will be open on the day and have leaflets, brochures, etc. promoting your business, we will happily display them at the Festival.
·       Be a Festival sponsor. This will promote your business to the thousands of visitors who attend on the day and to still more people via the Festival's online promotions. The Festival is on major local tourism web sites (e.g. Visit Victoria, Destination Bellarine and Flight Centre), so people who visit those sites to plan their stay in the Geelong area see the names and logos of the Festival's major sponsors - your business could join them. Similarly, visitors to the Festival web site see the names and logos of our major sponsors - your business could be there, too. 
·       Offer a 'special deal' on the day to Festival programme-holders, encouraging them to come to your business, rather than  to any others. Consider giving a bonus to customers who also present one of your leaflets/brochures from the Festival.

Good luck - and good business!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

SES coming to the Festival!

The local branch of the State Emergency Service (SES) will be present at the 2013 Festival of Glass.

But don't worry - there's no emergency! The local SES is aware of the Festival's growing popularity and has asked if they could attend this year and tell people about their work. The Festival committee is very pleased that the SES - a vital local community organisation - is interested in the Festival enough to take this initiative and so we invited them warmly to attend.

So if you've ever wondered what secrets are held in an SES emergency truck, Sunday 17 February at the Festival of Glass is the day to find out!

The Festival committee has accepted the SES's kind offer to look after the parking bays reserved at the venue for disabled drivers. So if you think you might sneak into one of the 'Disabled' parking bays when you shouldn't - the SES will be watching!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Festival of Glass features in online promotions

The 2013 Festival of Glass is featuring now in various online promotions reaching across Victoria and interstate.

The Festival committee has worked hard to promote the Festival in a variety of media, including print, broadcasting and online. Exhibitors at this year's Festival can be assured that the event is being promoted to a diversity of potential visitors; and that the promotions often feature exhibitors' work.

Adverts and promotional material should appear in print and broadcasting in February; much of the online promotion has been via tourism-oriented websites reaching local, regional and (inter-)national audiences. 

Locally
* The City of Greater Geelong is a major sponsor of the Festival of Glass and is promoting the Festival via its web site in two ways:
The 'Events' calendar (www.geelongaustralia.com.au/events/default.aspx)
'Arts Bulletin' (www.geelongaustralia.com.au/community/arts/artsbulletin.aspx and scroll down).
 Geelong-Otway Tourism is promoting the 2013 Festival of Glass through its newsletter and through Facebook (Visit Geelong Bellarine) and Twitter (Visit Geelong Bellarine).
* 'My24/7' is a national listings site with a section devoted to Geelong. The Festival of Glass is due to be promoted in February: my24/7.com.au/geelong.whats-on/more
* 'WeekendNotes' is a listings site that covers the Bellarine Peninsula and is featuring the Festival of Glass at present: m.weekendnotes.com/festival-of-glass/

Regionally
The Festival of Glass features in these Melbourne-oriented online listings sites:
* Locanto Classifieds online: vic.locanto.com.au/other-events/757/
* Only Melbourne / What's On in Melbourne: www.onlymelbourne.com.au/whatsonmelbourne.php (search for February 17 and scroll down)
* AroundYou: www.aroundyou.com.au (listing to appear in February)
* InTown: www.intown.com.au/events/events

(Inter-)Nationally
The Festival of Glass features on some state-based and national web sites that are designed to reach potential visitors to Victoria, as well as visitors who have arrived here already:
* Victorian State Government: www.vic.gov.au/calendar/2013/02
* Visit Victoria: www.visitvictoria.com/ (search for 'Festival+of+Glass')
* Flight Centre: www.flightcentre.com.au/world-travel/australia/great-ocean-road/2013-festival-of-glass-9147500 (via Great Ocean Road)
* PleaseTakeMeTo: www.pleasetakemeto.com/australia/great-ocean-road/2013-festival-of-glass-9147500
* PlanBooktravel: www.planbooktravel.com.au/ (search for '2013 Festival of Glass')
* Visit Vinyards: www.visitvineyards.com/events (click on 'events', then 'Victoria', then scroll down)

Elsewhere
Keen readers of the RACV bi-monthly glossy magazine may have noticed that we’re in their 'Events' listing, towards the back of the magazine. Festival fans in Queensland might have seen the Festival of Glass mentioned by the Mackay Daily Mercury: www.dailymercury.com.au/things-to-do/2013-festival-of-glass/42776/
Finally, 'Beadywendy' will be a first-time exhibitor at the 2013 Festival of Glass and she wrote this in the December 2012 edition of her blog: 'February brings another big event - the Festival of Glass in Drysdale, Victoria (http://www.festivalofglass.net.au/).  This will be my first time at the Festival but it was a good event for my Flaming Mathilda Friends last year.  It will mean an early start to drive from Drouin (S-E of Melbourne on the M1), but hopefully well worth it.' We're looking forward to meeting you, BeadyWendy!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Geelong - a 'City of Festivals'?


Monday, January 14, 2013


DCSCA has suggested to the City of Greater Geelong council that it considers promoting Geelong as the ‘City of Festivals’.

Each year, the City of Greater Geelong council supports at least fifteen community festivals through its Community Arts & Festivals grant programme. (This includes, of course, the excellentFestival of Glass in Drysdale - a DCSCA initiative!) Some of these festivals are one-off events receiving a one-off grant, while others are recurring events which receive triennial funding.

A glance at the list of these festivals shows its great diversity - a tribute both to the council's Arts department that has nurtured community arts and festivals in Geelong and to the council committee that disburses the grants.

DCSCA has suggested to the council that it considers building on Geelong's strength and diversity in community arts and festivals by promoting Geelong as the 'City of Festivals'. Such a strategy has three advantages:
  1. Promoting Geelong as a 'City of Festivals' would build on and celebrate Geelong’s diversity and would highlight the creative activity that is happening across the whole of Geelong, rather than focus simply on the city centre.
  2. Having several strong festivals throughout the year would mean that visitors would be likely to find a festival in Geelong, no matter when they visited.
  3. Promoting Geelong as the ‘City of Festivals’ would make better use of a lot of the grant money that the council disburses currently. At present, each festival has to spend a significant part of its budget on promotion, whereas promoting Geelong as a 'City of Festivals' would offer each festival the chance to fold its specific promotions into an ongoing promotional effort.
DCSCA's proposal draws on our three years experience (and success!) in presenting the Festival of Glass, which each year attracts a greater number and - more importantly - a greater diversity of exhibitors from across the wide world of glass. Our focus remains the Festival of Glass as an event in our local area, of course, but we are proposing this city-wide initiative because it would benefit all the community festivals in the area by making each one part of a bigger identity - 'Geelong, the City of Festivals'.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Featured exhibitor: Helen Walsh

Helen Walsh is an exhibitor at the 2013 Festival of Glass who creates pictures with glass. She specialises in dramatic wall hangings, a couple of which are featured here.


Helen is a member of the group Melbourne Artists in Glass (MAIG). Group members work with glass in many ways, including slumping, fusing, painting and sandblasting. They meet monthly to share their ideas and their latest work.