Glass Point is an open-concept glass design studio, created as a workspace for glass artists and sales platform for locally made glass art products from the Baltics. Studio offers a pre-made design glassware, but mainly take orders for custom pieces. Our aim is to make the medium of glass more accessible to a non-arts audience, educating and inspiring a wider public to discover glass art. ISGNE project helps us to reach wider audience, to mark our studio as serious player in the glass art world and encourage young artists to be more
Ieva Zemīte is a member of the Steering Committee, Anna Varnase is a project coordinator.
Our interest is to examine creative entrepreneurship ecosystems of entrepreneurs collaborating with glass blowers in Europe, to inquire into the ways in which ecosystem actors are linked and in the ways these links, activities and everyday practices lead to new product and business model development in cross-sectoral frameworks. We are here to blur boundaries among artists, craftsmen, design – makers, entrepreneurs, teachers, curators, project managers, policy makers and glass cultural workers.
Our network allows us to develop links with glass artists, designer-makers, glass cultural workers, policy makers, entrepreneurs and other actors mentioned before. Glass Point studio successfully arranged two international masterclasses with artists from the USA and China, one transnational workshop and now the international art exhibition is on the way.
A good example we can share is a transnational workshop – 48-hour collegiate hackathon at Latgale art and craft centre, Livani (http://www.livanustikls.lv/en/) on April 6-8, 2019. Teams of cultural producers, entrepreneurs, artists and art managers, designers and craftsmen who want to change the world through design and the arts worked together for 48-hours. The aim of the hackathon was to improve access to the arts and to create new ways of using crafts in the design and Livani City council was really satisfied with the final results, which were planned to be implemented.
Glass Point studio is collaborating with Art Academy of Latvia, Latgale Art and Craft centre, Livani City Council, Riga City Council, the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE, NGO’s – ‘IRMA collaborative’ & ‘RADE’ and well know international artists which are exploring of pluralistic
approaches to creating. Collaboration within the arts can be seen as a playing field for considering complex issues and questions as the arts can encompass all disciplines. Opportunity to involve international artists focusing on glass as a medium integrated with other disciplines includes transitional collaborations. It is important to mention that ISGNE project from our side is financially supported by the Ministry of Culture and the State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia.’
The Creative Europe funding is beneficial to get additional support from the Ministry of Culture and the State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia.
The exhibition “Voice of Glass Collaborative” involves international artists focusing on glass as a medium integrated with other disciplines including transitional collaborations. Unity and diversity of content is inherent in the works presented. Through interdisciplinary arts the essence of humanity and complexities of social unity and duality can be revealed. Through the dynamic process of collaboration, we hope to discover new forms of experimental hybridization which communicate rich and complex associations. Glass Point studio despite all challenges involves artists and encourages them to create artworks (we provide a technical support) and to participate at as many international occasions they can – exhibitions, art biennales, etc.
It is very important to work internationally. We couldn’t afford those great visiting artist masterclasses without a support from Creative Europe foundation. It helps us to put our studio on the map of glass art internationally. Also, the exhibition “Voice of Glass Collaborative” gives us a wide international perspective and promotes Latvia as a glass art spot.
Perseverance. Artists are the ones who always have been working in uncertainty and a pandemic forced them to reevaluate all possibilities for current and future grant recipients. Our friends from Europe, the USA and China have told us that through all this period they have felt the role of art is paramount.
Mostly artists have their studios and they were able to do their work in their own healthy, safe space and finally had a time for art not only commission works, but, of course, financial situation is quite difficult.
Artists need this mobility, opened borders and inspirational projects out of their safe studio place. Audience ask for a real time and physically reachable location, they want to sensory experience art. We believe that international glass scene will flourish, when boarders will be opened again.
During this time people have been actively trying to find ways of contributing to their communities and we also felt that support from our clients, partners and audience. We have been reminded of the role of art to help us express ourselves, boost community morale, show solidarity and make meaning out of our shared experiences. To be honest, our lives in Latvia have been back to normal since September, when schools started a new school year, companies came back from long vacations. You never know for how long time is “normal life” will prolong, but we have to admit that our feelings differ from our friend’s and partner’s thoughts, most them are still experiencing a lockdown.
We would love to identify a system which finds and provides support for a creation of new products and business models with high growth potential. It could help entrepreneurs to create new market opportunities and promote business competitiveness and growth simultaneously safeguarding craftsmanship as intangible cultural heritage.