Press Release

Chihuly Garden and Glass and the Glass Art Society to Share Results of Landscape of Glass Art in America Study at the 2016 Sculpture Objects and Functional Art fair in Chicago

Study data, including learnings that 74 percent of the public have an interest in glass art, will be explored in a special exhibition space and panel discussion

Seattle – Seattle-based Chihuly Garden and Glass and the Glass Art Society will share the findings of their national study – The Landscape of Glass Art in America: A Benchmark for the Future – at the Sculpture Objects and Functional Art (SOFA) fair in Chicago November 3-6, 2016. The research project, which began in November 2015, measured the general public’s interest in glass art, explored activity within different regions across the country, and maps current trends. Findings will serve as a benchmark for future measurement, growth and experimentation in the industry. In addition to a panel discussion at SOFA, an exhibition of the study will also be presented, blending stats and artwork.

Chihuly Garden and Glass and the Glass Art Society worked with Bellevue, Wash. based GMA Research to conduct the study. The project was broken into three phases which included qualitative research, influencer interviews and, finally, two quantitative surveys. With more than 2,000 participants, survey results depict opinions and attitudes representative of the United States population.

“We are excited to take this step in benchmarking public awareness, interest and trends related to the business of glass,” said Michelle Bufano, executive director, Chihuly Garden and Glass. “There is tremendous value in seeing true data around where our industry stands so we can collectively, as a community, drive education and engagement with the general public.” 


Key findings include: 

  • More than 70 percent of the public have an interest in glass. 
  • Of that group, 29 percent have visited a gallery in the past 24 months and 24 percent have visited a museum that presents glass. Additionally, 23 percent have connected with social media or conducted online research related to glass. 
  • An indicator for future growth, those whose interest has grown the most span 18-34 years old. 
  • In the glass industry, flameworking, a diversification of artists and usage of mixed media rose to the surface as key trends driving the industry. 

While the survey data shows that public perception is increasing or remaining the same, there is an interesting conflict in the response from the glass art community. Only 50 percent believe the industry is growing. Those most optimistic about the future are young artists, those with 1-5 years of experience.

“We receive calls daily from people looking for just this kind of current, hard social trend data relating to the glass community,” said Pamela Koss, executive director, Glass Art Society. “We believe this study, and what it sets up for the future, greatly supports our mission of advancing education around, and promoting the appreciation of, the glass arts.”

Regional hubs for glass are also evolving. While the Northwest and Northeast are still considered the top geographical hubs for glass art, census data shows that the community is diversifying. With more practicing artists, schools, hot shops and galleries emerging the Midwest and Southeast regions are growing and expanding their reach and impact.  

Fundamental shifts in perspective were also identified. Many artists are no longer categorizing themselves by the medium. In the past someone who may have been considered a “studio glass” artist may now identify as an “artist working in glass.” The medium is now taking a backseat to the artist’s idea and the result is a more mainstream acceptance of glass artwork. 

To check out additional detail regarding The Landscape of Glass Art in America: A Benchmark for the Future visit

For Information, contact:

Erika Enomoto, 206-382-1305 

April Matson, 206-753-4924 

Press Release

Chihuly Garden and Glass and the Glass Art Society Launch Study of Glass Art in America

Research to be conducted by Bellevue-based GMA Research and released in Spring 2016

Seattle – Seattle-based Chihuly Garden and Glass and the Glass Art Society (GAS), in collaboration with GMA Research, have partnered to conduct an in-depth study of the State of Glass Art in America. The process, which kicked-off in November 2015, will look into the most active regions for glass art and provide a benchmark to measure future growth and experimentation. A “State of Glass” report is expected in early Spring 2016. 

Though glass has ancient traditions in Europe, it’s a relatively young art form in the United States. Just over 50 years ago factory facilities were producing glass works but the idea of “glass art” didn’t exist. It took glass pioneer Harvey Littleton, a ceramics professor at the University of Wisconsin, launching the first glass program in America in 1962 to bring the idea of studio glass to fruition. Since those beginnings, interest and experimentation with glass art has flourished. Organizations like Pilchuck Glass School in the Pacific Northwest, the GAS, Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina and The Corning Museum of Glass in upstate New York have become pillars in the glass art community, making their regions central to the studio movement in the United States. The “State of Glass” will take into account active hot shops, education institutions, tourism, galleries, working artists and public perception to establish a benchmark for the industry.  

“Here in the Pacific Northwest we have a storied history of glass that began, in part, with Dale Chihuly co-founding the Pilchuck Glass School in 1971,” said Michelle Bufano, executive director, Chihuly Garden and Glass. “That tradition, which began organically with artists coming here to experiment and share ideas, has created an incredible economy around tourism, education and art.”

Led by Chihuly Garden and Glass, a long-term exhibition of the works of Dale Chihuly at Seattle Center, the “State of Glass” study is being conducted in partnership with the GAS. Founded in 1971, the Seattle-based GAS is the largest organization of glass artists, educators, and enthusiasts in the world with more than 2000 members. The organization has grown to become a resource for everything glass and brings the glass community together at an annual conference.  

“We are thrilled to be able to reach out into the community to get a comprehensive look at the state of glass in America,” said Pamela Koss, executive director, Glass Art Society.  “The world of art made with glass continues to evolve and this study will give everyone true viewpoint of where we are today.”  

Research is being conducted through Bellevue-based GMA Research. Founded in 1970, GMA Research is a national/international research firm headquartered in Bellevue, Washington serving clients in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. The firm has a depth of experience working with and supporting the arts community. Don Morgan, senior partner, will be the lead researcher for this study.


For Information, contact:

Kristin Galioto, 206-382-1305 

April Matson, 206-753-4924 

About Chihuly Garden and Glass

Opened May 21, 2012, Chihuly Garden and Glass, brings together all the elements of Chihuly’s work, including Drawings, signature glass series, large architectural installations and personal collections in a long-term exhibition.

About Glass Art Society

The Glass Art Society is an international non-profit organization founded in 1971 whose purpose is to encourage excellence, to advance education, to promote the appreciation and development of the glass arts, and to support the worldwide community of artists who work with glass. GAS holds an annual conference, publish the Glass Art Society Journal and provide online versions of GASnews and the Glass Art Society Online Member Directory featuring member profiles with image gallery, bio and more.

GAS strives to stimulate communication among artists, educators, students, collectors, gallery and museum personnel, art critics, manufacturers, and all others interested in and involved with the production, technology and aesthetics of glass. We are dedicated to creating greater public awareness and appreciation of the glass arts.