GULFPORT - The Industrial Arts Center of Gulfport has expanded its opportunities for learning and experiencing glass blowing, as well as other art forms.
As it continues its series of “Hot Date Nights” for adults, the IACG has added four summer “Uber Crafts Camps” for youths. Groups are also encouraged to arrange for their own hot glass event. With a new furnace and new schedule of events, the IACG is moving toward an event-focused method of sharing the ancient art of glass-blowing. The IACG is located at 5437 29th Avenue South, just off Beach Boulevard in Gulfport’s “Alley of the Arts.” Led by master glass blower and resident artist Owen Pach, the IACG team includes artists experienced in hot glass art, as well as metal forging and sculpture. For more information and to register for any event, call 727-623-4920.
The new Uber Crafts Camp is geared toward youths between the ages of 9 and 15. During the course of each week-long camp, participants will each create their own glass beads, paperweight, blown glass vessel, metal sculpture, and forged metal bracelet. On the final day of camp, participants will be allowed to return to any of the art forms they have experienced during the week for a final day of exploration.
Each camp will last from Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Spaces are still available for each of the four Uber Crafts Camps to be held June 9-13, June 16-20, July 14-18, and July 21-25. All materials are included for the creation of the art works and students are also given their own safety glasses, safety mask and gloves. Lunch catered by local restaurants is also included. Three experienced instructors will be present during each camp and space is limited to 8 participants per camp to allow for the most individual attention and hands-on experience. Fees for Uber Crafts Camp are $350 per participant, or $300 each for two or more siblings attending the same camp.
Hot Date Nights
Hot Date Nights at the IACG continue each month, with events scheduled for June 14 and July 12. Designed for adult couples, the experience includes glass blowing and bead making with the addition of a catered dinner and entertainment. The fee for Hot Date Night is $100 per couple.
The IACG offers any group the ability to customize and create its own glass-blowing event. Events that have been offered include Girl Scout groups, veterans and seniors, corporate team-building events, birthday and holiday parties, organizational meetings and staff retreats. Group events typically involve hands-on experience with hot glass and/or metal, as well as demonstrations and entertainment by team members, some of whom are also experienced in acrobatics, juggling and fire dancing. According to Pach, at each event, “Everyone walks away with a beautiful piece of glass.”
Individual “mini-classes,” the “Blow Your Own Glass Masterpiece” experience, and hands-on individual instruction are also still available. And the IACG’s “Hot Shop Road Show” allows for glass-blowing experiences and demonstrations at your own site or event. Other events on the horizon include a return of the 2-day “Summer Heat” fundraiser in September and the annual Chili Cook-Off scheduled for October with dates to be determined.
Regular hours for the IACG are Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursdays, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; and Saturdays, 10 a.m. 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., and by appointment.