When the glass community and real worlds collide – reflecting on IGS 2018
It started with the curatorial vision of the company Crystalex a.s. Nový Bor by invited artists and designers from all over the world to its workshops to meet and to give shape to their designs and artistic ideas with an event that could promote glass artistry and local glass-maker skills. With a focus on the real experience the festival has offered talks, performances, screenings and exhibitions that expanded the notion of glass art, and ways of communicating the glass community and vision, by live production and premium work.
In the following three decades of the festival, it has contracted and expanded in different editions, across different spaces in the city. Connectivity is imperative at any festival, thousands of visitors came this weekend and watched the artists skills at work at a staggering amount of venues and sites.
Away from the crowds at the demonstrations, I found a wonderful opportunity to share common interests and mutual understanding with many artists giving generous time to visitors continuing to share their experiences and join conversations online and share with those who could not make the journey.
There is an appetite for shared experience of creative practice here – evidenced by a real exchange between artist and artisan glass worker, factory worker and the variety of public’s. The access and opening of the factory doors make IGS really exceptional at reaching new audiences of all ages reaching out to a non-arts audience. The support from the local community was very evident with the experience of the art running late into the evening.
Curation is key. Just as the programme evolves and is curated online prior to the festival opening, the IGS team have been successful in the overall festival experience to be curated for optimum enjoyment. It seems to live by two core philosophies, firstly it is evident that everything is completely curated for quality it appears effortless but I imagine behind the scenes there are stringent checklists and planning – and, secondly, the team has to be able to communicate the value glass brings in the Liberec region in a way that a multitude of audiences would be able to understand.
Curating a connection is what sets IGS apart from their competition. I wish them every success in their curatorial vision for IGS 2021.