Imagine a Studio Glass Museum in St. Pete

Imagine a museum specializing in studio glass art. Today that became a reality in the Burg when the new Imagine Museum on Central Avenue in the Grand Central District. A Grand Opening is set to take place Saturday, January 27th at their Fire & Light Ball, where guests will enjoy cocktails, dinner, entertainment, and private tours of the collection from 6:30pm to 9:30pm.

While the development may seem surprising to outsiders, locals already know St. Pete’s glass arts scene has been blowing up, with glass studios and hot shops like the Morean Arts Center, which features a permanent Dale Chihuly collection, and Duncan Mclellan and Zen Glass each under a mile away from the new Imagine Museum’s location. Plus, with the recent announcement of the Glass Arts Society choosing the Gulf Coast for their 2019 conference, those from afar have clearly taken notice too. The three-story, 50,000 square-foot museum is already right at home in the up-and-coming Central Arts District.

Tracing the art form back through the 1960s, the American Studio Glass Movement exhibit is comprised of 55 artists spanning an almost equal number of years the art has been active in America. It will serve as one of the most valuable resources available for exposure to and education about the studio glass movement and its explosion into today’s contemporary forms.

Shelley Muzylowski Allen – Imperial Blue, 2017 (courtesy of www.imaginemuseum.com)

Organized by genealogy, almost 500 extraordinary works will be on display. Museum-goers will be able to explore a family tree of artists that goes all the way back to Harvey Littleton and Dominick Labino, whose now-famous glass furnace workshop at the Toledo Museum of Art in 1962 was the catalyst for future individual studio artists to be able to work with the medium.

Benefactor Trish Duggan, a glass collector and artist herself, and Director Nate Jessup aim to be forward looking too, with the museum not just serving as a retrospective. Their goal is to expand the collection with fresh talent every year and host community events through their event space, with a major focus on inspiring, encouraging, and realizing the dreams of youth, living artists, and the original pioneers.

The American Studio Glass Movement
Opening January 23, 2018
Imagine Museum
1901 Central Avenue
Saint Petersburg, Florida 33713

Images via the Imagine Museum

Written by Brian Bailey

Brian Bailey is the founder and editor of I Love the Burg and That's So Tampa. In addition to regular contributions to each blog, he's been featured as a commentator to Bay New 9, The Tampa Tribune, The Tampa Bay Times, The Tampa Bay Business Journal and The Business Observer as well as national outlets including The Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal. Bailey also serves as the CEO of RKC.me, a Tampa Bay-based digital agency.