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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Grapes to Glass Festival to showcase Tucson’s best artisans


    Courtesy of Nick Letson / Sonoran Glass School

    Maynard’s Market and Kitchen will be holding its first Grapes to Glass Art and Wine Festival on Saturday from 1-4 p.m. Locals can enjoy samples of wine from the nine wineries attending the event while browsing around the patio area looking at local art.

    Nyssa Miccio, the marketing assistant for Maynard’s, said it is a way to promote the wineries in Arizona.

    “Arizona has a really big wine community and vineyard community in Southern Arizona as well as Northern Arizona,” she said. “We wanted to start promoting that.”

    This event also gives Maynard’s the chance to promote the creative people of Tucson by featuring local artists at the festival.

    The festival, Miccio said, is a perfect blend of juices both creative and alcoholic. 

    Tickets are $35 and include eight samples of wine, a wine glass, a wine yoke and snacks. There will also be an “I Love Lucy”-inspired grape stomping competition that participants won’t want to miss. 

    The Sonoran Glass School will be one of the groups at the event promoting local art. The school was founded in 2001 by local glass artists in Tucson who wanted to be able to educate the people in the community about glass art. Nicholas Letson, the school’s communications director, said no one in Tucson offered to educate the public about glass art—instruction was more private and required teachers to have a studio.

    “Our founders thought it would be a good idea to bring it to everybody, to bring the wonder of glass art to the community,” Letson said.

    The non-profit school allows youth programs and community outreach programs to be accessible to everyone. Letson also mentioned that this school is the only glass art school in the Southwest that teaches all the disciplines: furnace glassblowing, kiln-firing and torchworking.

    “We look at what we do as something special,” he said.

    What has helped Sonoran Glass School expose the school and glass art is the G.O.A.T., or “Glassworking on a Trailer.” Paul Anders-Stout, the Hot Shop director for the school, helped to create and design the mobile hot glass studio. Sonoran Glass School is able to travel to different venues and events to showcase their artistic abilities and educate others about glass art. 

    Anders-Stout said that what he loves about making glass art are all the different elements that must come together.

    “It seems like there is always something else to be learning and working on,” he said. He added that working with glass requires maximal attention. It can help others learn how to be “in the moment” and focus on a task, he said. 

    The G.O.A.T will be at the Grapes to Glass Wine and Art Festival giving wine-glass-making lessons.  

    Follow Erika Parra on Twitter.

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