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 The 47th annual International Glass Invitational Awards  Exhibition will take place May 4 through July 5 at Habatat Galleries in Royal Oak.

The 47th annual International Glass Invitational Awards Exhibition will take place May 4 through July 5 at Habatat Galleries in Royal Oak.

Photo provided by Linda Ashley

International glass show to return to Habatat Galleries for 47th year

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published April 24, 2019

ROYAL OAK — Hundreds of works of contemporary glass art by artists from around the world will be on display during the 47th annual International Glass Invitational Awards Exhibition at Habatat Galleries.

A grand opening that is free and open to the public will take place at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 4, and the exhibition will continue through July 5.

“It’s a totally amazing show featuring 500 works of art from over 100 artists from 30 different countries,” said Linda Ashley, the event’s publicist. “Collectors and museum curators come in from all over the world.”

The theme of this year’s invitational is “An Artist’s Life!” The gallery asked the artists to provide glimpses into their lives as artists and to share their thoughts.

Of the artists whose work is featured, more than 50 will be in attendance during the grand opening to discuss their methods and inspirations.

Five years ago, stepbrothers Corey Hampson and Aaron Schey took ownership of the gallery from their father, Ferdinand Hampson, who founded Habatat in 1971 and was a key player in establishing glass as an art form. 

The brothers now travel frequently to find new artists to include in the invitational.

“Habatat Galleries as an institution grew internationally, seeking out artists, collectors and museums from around the world,” Hampson said in a statement. “Art glass became more than blown glass. It includes cast, slumped, fused, flame worked and laminated works. In all, it is the finest sculpture, using glass as a means for expression.”

Schey said a highlight of the show is a light-up glass installation that hangs from the ceiling, featuring a universe theme and a variety of planets, created by married couple John Littleton and Kate Vogel, of Seattle.

“John Littleton’s father, Harvey Littleton, was basically the founder of the glass world in America,” Schey said. “(The installation at Habatat) looks spectacular and is on the cutting edge of the glass world.”

Schey highlighted Paul Stankard and John Miller as other notable artists who would participate in the show.

“Paul Stankard is the best paperweight maker in the world,” he said. “John Miller bought a food truck and modified it into an art gallery full of glass food — burgers, drinks, ice, ketchup and fries.”

This year, a new POP & LOCK Art Experience will feature the work of 15 artists who explore images of American pop icons through glass media.

Hampson and Schey are also introducing an interactive glass exhibition manual for all guests, which will include a sticker scavenger hunt and social media elements.

“We look forward to even more folks attending the show this year,” Hampson said in a statement. “Local attendance has increased over the last three years, and we want all local residents to come, enjoy and take pride in Michigan’s contribution to the art glass world.”

Habatat Galleries is located in a 14,000-square-foot warehouse space at 4400 Fernlee Ave., near West 14 Mile Road and Coolidge Highway.

For more information, call (248) 554-0590 or visit

Call Staff Writer Sarah Wojcik at (586) 218-5006.