Regional glass exhibit showcased at the Janice Charach Gallery

By: Cari DeLamielleure-Scott | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published March 19, 2015

 April Wagner’s “Metallic Nest” is also part of the exhibition, which runs through April 29.

April Wagner’s “Metallic Nest” is also part of the exhibition, which runs through April 29.

Photo by Donna Agusti

WEST BLOOMFIELD — For the first time since 1983, the Michigan Regional Glass Exhibition will be held at the Janice Charach Gallery in the Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit in West Bloomfield.


The exhibition will be held through April 29, and it kicked off with an opening reception March 15. The exhibit was organized by the gallery along with Albert Young, of the Detroit-based Michigan Hot Glass Works, the state’s oldest independent glass-blowing school.


Young is known for casting glass and steel.


What’s unique about this exhibit is that it features glass pieces from only Michigan and Ohio artists, and the exhibition was juried by Ferdinand Hampson, founder and president of Habatat Galleries in Royal Oak.


Though the show is a regional show, Young said, artists from Toledo had to be included because “they’re more of a glass community than the Upper Peninsula.”


The exhibit features about 130 pieces by over 30 artists.


“It’s nice to see the traditionalist and the experimental and everything in between,” said Kelly Kaatz, gallery director. 


At the opening reception, the Janice Charach Gallery gave out three $400 awards, and Hampson, on behalf of Habatat Galleries, presented one $1,000 award to artist Niko Dimitrijevic.


The reason the exhibit has not taken place since 1983 is that no one took the time to organize it, Young said.


“April used to be Michigan Glass Month, and I think people basically relied to have the galleries have these activities and separate shows,” Young said. Exhibits at surrounding galleries were not competitive, he added.


“Three decades is a long time without having a Michigan regional juried show,” Young said. “This is an exciting show, and people for years have been wanting (a glass show).”


Included in the exhibit is a historical display showcasing samples of the most prominent glass pieces created in Michigan over the last 50 years.


Kaatz said the historical display shows where glass started, where it’s at now and where it’s going in the future. Artists featured in the historical display include Young, Janet Kelman, Herb Babcock and Jack Schmidt. Schmidt’s piece dates back to 1969, Kaatz said. What’s different about the historical pieces are their size and the color of the glass, which Kaatz described as “iridescent” and “foggy looking.”