Children learn glass blowing at the Industrial Arts Center of Gulfport.
GULFPORT - The Industrial Arts Center of Gulfport (IACG) recently introduced new learning opportunities and events in its new location at 5437 29th Ave. S., just off Beach Boulevard.
The new outpost of the non-profit IACG, in what has been christened as Gulfport’s “Alley of the Arts,” harbors artists who demonstrate and teach glass blowing, hot glass casting and fusing, glass bead making, metal forging, metal sculpture, mosaics and other art forms.
The alley has historically been a location for working artists’ studios in Gulfport. It also houses the quarters of local glass/metal artist Owen Pach, and metal/mixed media artist Jonathan Schork, both of which are IACG instructors and Board members. Several other artists round out the roster of instructors offering to participants from children to seniors the chance to experience the industrial arts firsthand.
New events and classes are now being formed. The IACG’s recent “Hot Date Night” proved to be a unique and successful event in which couples were invited to share the creative experience of hot glass blowing together.
For Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14, the first annual “Valentine’s Fete” will offer similar experiences for couples, including glass blowing and bead making with the addition of a catered dinner and entertainment. The Fete will be $100 per couple and is limited to 10 couples. For more information and registration, call 727-623-4920. Future “Hot Date Nights” are also planned.
Classes at the IACG range from two-hour “mini-classes” to multiple-day courses, including both one-on-one and group sessions. A finalized schedule of new classes will be available soon.
Regular hours for the IACG are Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursdays, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; and Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m.
The IACG is also open during each Gulfport Art Walk on the first Friday and third Saturday of each month from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
A “menu” of make-your-own glass art work from beads to blown glass paperweights, glasses and vases is available to create during open hours or by appointment. Experienced artists guide each encounter. The public is welcome to drop by the facility at any time the doors are open and view artists at work as well as discuss the processes involved. Elementary and high school groups, local art clubs, veterans groups, families and others have recently gathered for their own group experience at the IACG. Groups and individuals are welcome to plan and customize their own IACG experience.