Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Building community with glass

Now in its eighth year, the Festival of Glass is helping to build a sense of community as it promotes local glass artists.

The Festival is an initiative of the Drysdale & Clifton Springs Community Association*, which set up a Festival committee in 2010 to establish and run the Festival. The Association’s intention was always that Festival would contribute to the identity of the growing local community while it promoted glass art – especially by local glass artists.

Consequently, the Festival has actively involved local organisations, groups and individuals since it started in 2011. The committee draws on its strong links with the Community Association and several committee members are also involved with other local groups and organisations, including the Lions, Rotary and the SpringDale Neighbourhood House. These organisations sponsor various elements of the Festival – especially the Glass Art awards - and their members volunteer to help at specific Festival events. The Bellarine Historical Society recently initiated an annual Historic Bottle Evaluation, which it runs as part of the Festival with the two organisations cross-promoting each other.

The Festival has involved local schools – through its “Welcome to Drysdale” glass mural project and its Mentorship Progamme for local young aspiring glass artists.

Business meets art at the Festival
As the Festival has grown, it has benefited an increasing number of local businesses in various ways. First, by buying goods and services from them – the committee always aims to “Shop local”. Second, the Festival Expo brings several thousand visitors to Drysdale and the Festival promotional material encourages them to explore local commercial attractions such as wineries, cafes, olive farms and shops. Third, the Festival’s Treasure Hunt brings treasure hunters to each participating local business across the North Bellarine - and every treasure hunter is a potential customer!

Local businesses have responded in various ways and the Festival committee is very grateful for their support. Without it, the Festival of Glass wouldn’t be what it has become. Some businesses sponsor specific elements of the Festival, such as the annual Glass Art Awards, the Artist in Residence Programme, the Mentorship Programme and, of course the Treasure Hunt; others give 'in kind' support, such as vouchers or special prices.

Special mention must be made of the Festival’s two biggest and most consistent sponsors - the City of Greater Geelong and the Bendigo Bank. Each one’s support and encouragement has been crucial to the Festival’s establishment, growth and diversification. Without them, the Festival committee would not be able to bring together anywhere near the number and range of people that it does – artists, visitors, businesses and community groups.

A sense of historical identity
Since the Festival committee was established in 2010, it has learnt that the Festival is the latest event in the centuries-old history of glass on the Bellarine Peninsula. The Festival has initiated an online history of glass in the area:

This history started when John Batman first arrived at Indented Head, bringing glass beads and mirrors as ‘gifts’ for the local aborigines. At the turn of the century, the area was known for the ‘torpedo bottles’ in which local spring water was sold; in the 1930s, huge quantities of shell grit were exported from the Bellarine to Melbourne’s glass factories and Pilkington opened Australia’s first automotive glass factory in Geelong. Glass has been implicated in the area’s growth since then.

* Now the Drysdale, Clifton Springs & Curlewis Association.

Featured Festival Sponsor: OPSM (Waurn Ponds)
The Festival of Glass committee is grateful to OPSM (Waurn Ponds) for supporting the Festival of Glass – in particular, the Festival’s Mentorship Programme for local young aspiring glass artists.

Since Optical Prescription Spectacle Makers opened its first store in Macquarie Street, Sydney in 1932, the company has expanded until there are now nearly 400 stores across Australia and New Zealand – including the one at Waurn Ponds, of course! OPSM stocks a wide range of designer frames, brand-name sunglasses (most can be fitted with prescription lenses) and contact lenses.

OPSM (Waurn Ponds) 173 - 199 Pioneer Road, Shop T913, Waurn Ponds Shopping Centre, Waurn Ponds, Vic 3216. Tel: (03) 5243 9288
Opening hours. Monday – Thursday 8.00am to 6.00pm; Friday 8.00am to 9.00pm; Saturday & Sunday 9.00am to 5.00pm.

Featured Festival Sponsor: Lisa Neville
The Festival of Glass committee is grateful to Lisa Neville - Member for Bellarine - for her continued support of the Festival of Glass. Lisa has supported the Festival both financially (assisting with our advertising costs) and in person, visiting almost every Festival Expo despite her busy schedule. Following her 2017 visit, Lisa made a Member Statement to the parliament, praising the Festival as a “wonderful achievement” and congratulating its organisers.

Lisa was elected as the Member for Bellarine in the Victorian Legislative Assembly in 2002 and is the Minister for Police and Water in the current Victorian State government. Between 2006 and 2010, she was the Minister for Mental Health and Minister for Community Services and Senior Victorians. Prior to entering parliament, Lisa was Manager of the SpringDale Neighbourhood Centre in Drysdale, President of the Board of Barwon Health and Chairperson of the Barwon Network of Neighbourhood Houses.

Electorate office: Shop G066, Gateway Plaza, Leopold, 3224
Tel. 03 9637 9654

Featured Festival Sponsor: Silvan family
The Festival of Glass committee is grateful to the Silvan family for sponsoring the People’s Choice Glass Art Award at the 2018 Festival. The Award consists of $200 and a hand-made glass plaque from Wathaurong Glass. It is awarded to the creator of the most original and eye-catching entry to the Art Glass Awards, as voted by people attending the Festival Expo. The Silvan family sponsors and presents the People’s Choice Glass Art Award in memory of their loved one, Antonio Silvan. Throughout his life, Tony valued community events. He encouraged everyone in his family to get involved in their community and to celebrate and embrace its diversity.

Get the latest Festival news
Blog (you’re here!):

Volunteering at the Festival
Our Friends of the Festival online newsletter gives the latest Festival news, with special emphasis on opportunities to volunteer to help. To become a Friend of the Festival, please send an e-mail to:
Put “Festival Friends” in the subject bar and put your name and address in the body of the e-mail. Thanks - we look forward to welcoming you!

No comments:

Post a Comment