The Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass (BMMOG) will be hosting its first arts festival dedicated to the art of glass. In its 45-year history, its annual arts festival was in many ways like the ones you may have attended in your own city or throughout the state of Wisconsin. For many of us, the past 2+ years provided us the opportunity to self-reflect and assess on what our path can look like as we head into a new future. Do we continue to do the same as before or do we take this opportunity to reinvent ourselves? In my opinion, BMMOG decided to reinvent itself in developing programming that will provide glass experiences for all to spark fun, kindle creativity, and illuminate learning and not to mention, complement its mission and vision. This included reconceptualizing what a new arts festival will look like for the city of Neenah, its members, glass/arts enthusiasts, glass art collectors, and so on.
Recently I sat down virtually with Kathryn Dreifuerst, Development and Engagement Manager, to learn about this upcoming arts festival.
Revisioning an annual tradition of hosting various artists from diverse media to focusing on one medium is not an easy task considering that people are drawn to all types of art and perhaps predict what type of art they will see and purchase. I asked why the change in vision and what BMMOG hopes to gain from this new direction. Dreifuerst said, “BMMOG wanted something unique and authentic and to complement its mission. All the artwork we show is glass, things we make in the studio is glass, and everything we sell in the shop is glass”. To date, this change has attracted glass artists from across the U.S. to exhibit and sell their works. The GLASS (Glass Lakefront Art Show and Sale) Arts Festival will introduce a variety of glass processes to its attendees.
“This is an opportunity to put the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass on the map as a world class museum specializing in glass with world class exhibitions such as “Primordial Shift: The Art of Michael Maelahn Perspective”, which happens to end on August 21, 2022”, said Dreifuerst. As she continues to share what this arts festival will bring one thing that caught my attention, which is not common in the arts festival circuit, is that one glass artist will be awarded a solo exhibition at BMMOG in 2023. This, of course, means that there will awards given to this year’s glass artists selected by this year’s juror.
The GLASS Arts Festival will help BMMOG move its mission and vision further by continuing to create excitement of glass discovery, provide opportunities to experience glass in all of its forms, provide a unique platform for glass artists to sell, and to encourage attendees to visit the museum – free of charge.
What to expect
In this one-day event, August 13, 2022, you can expect to see over 30+ glass artists from across the U.S., glass demonstrations such as glass blowing with the mini dragon blowing glass studio, a children’s make and take tent, food trucks, and local breweries. If you are wondering about parking, BMMOG will be working with the city of Neenah. Typically, the arts festival would be held at the park right across BMMOG, but this year it will be held on its grounds overlooking Lake Winnebago.
About the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass (BMMOG)
Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass, established in 1959 in Neenah, Wisconsin, has been an exclusively glass museum since 2012. The permanent collection began with the Bergstrom collection of paperweights and the Mahler collection of Germanic glass vessels, housed in a 1930 mansion on Lake Winnebago. Today a growing collection of contemporary glass art and changing exhibitions bring in tourists from across the country.
For further details contact Kathryn at email@example.com or visit bmmglass.com.
If you go:
Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass
165 N. Park Avenue
Neenah, Wisconsin 54956
GLASS Arts Festival
August 13, 2022
Hours: 10am – 5pm