The Michigan Glass Project connects glass artists from around the country, showcasing the functional glass culture’s coexistence with Michigan’s healthy MMJ community. The annual event takes place July 22-24 at the Russell Industrial Center, a behemoth factory relic in Detroit that now houses over 100 artist studios. Attendees––glassy eyed or not––can jam to live music, munch food, stroll through rows of painters and jewelers, as well as check out the intimidating collection of glassblowers and glass art gathered in one spot.
Originally held at the Belle Isle Aquarium, the event has grown in recent years and now includes a huge lineup of glass artists from around the country. These artists aren’t the same people making those five dollar hand pipes you see at the sketchy gas station around the corner from your house. We’re talking about artists making pipes worth more than your car. This year will feature demos from renowned Michigan natives Banjo and Mike Shelbo along with big time out-of-towners Ryno, Chunk and JD Maplesden. Not to mention an appearance by one of the pioneers of functional glass art, Bob Snodgrass. Former Detroit Red Wing and four-time Stanley Cup Champ turned cannabis activist, Darren McCarty, will also be present on Saturday to sign autographs.
This event brings together the biggest names in functional glass to collaborate on unbelievable pieces that raise thousands of dollars for the project. The collaboration from last year, with contributions from over 15 artists, sold for $3,000 in April. Proceeds from the event go to support Art Road Detroit, an organization focused on providing supplies and instruction to schools that lack art programs.
This is the event of the year for the Michigan glass community, don’t miss the opportunity to see the biggest names in glass working in the same space.