Imagine Showcases Creativity
By Kai Rambow
Some of the work on display is simply stunning. Others will boggle your mind: how did someone create that? Glass sculpture is an American movement, and Imagine showcases the recent history. Even though Imagine is new, opened earlier this year, it’s already received high ratings from visitors.
Significance of Imagine
If you’re familiar with stained glass works by Tiffany or Chagall, they designed and created fabulous works, however, the actual pieces were created in a factory setting. It wasn’t until the early 1960s, furnaces were developed with temperatures hot enough for artists to create in a studio environment. This also enabled artists to create new forms of glass sculpture.
Gallery 1 and 2
Since the museum is so new, audio guides and/or docent led tours are not yet available. Jane Buckman, Deputy Director, shared some key insights so you’ll know what you’re seeing.
“Gallery 1 and 2 show the artists who were the pioneers in glass as an art form. When you’re looking at the work, you’ll see some early work, and you’ll see some later pieces, so you can see how they evolved.”
As you progress through the galleries, the sculptures progress in concept, idea, form and techniques. They also become bigger and more complex.
On the second floor, near 211 there are two glass creations for which you should take a little extra time. The first is a cube with a dotted, globe shaped art inside. If you walk around to the side, it disappears from view. The second one nearby, looks like a face from one side, but two people kissing from the other side.
These are the two most obvious ones, but don’t just look at any of the works from one perspective. Walk around and see what you can discover.
The founder, Trish Duggan, a glass artist herself, developed this museum very quickly.
Major milestones from the idea, to acquiring the building, to acquiring the collection and then renovating the building were accomplished in three years.
When you’re looking at the building, the exhibits and glass sculptures, everything looks like it took much longer to put together. It has been thoughtfully created with first-rate execution. Our section of the Gulf coast has the Duncan McClellan Gallery, the Chihuly Collection, the glass pavilion at Ringling and now Imagine. This latest glass museum addition is turning the Gulf coast into the Glass coast – and we get to enjoy it.
Tips for a Great Trip
Great Summer Day Trip: In the heat and humidity of summer, this is a great indoor activity.
Since the museum is very close to the downtown core, you might want to consider having a meal after at one of many restaurant choices in St. Petersburg.
You could arrive for the opening time at 10 a.m., take your time, have lunch after and be back home mid-afternoon.
Go as a Group: At present, docent led tours and/or audio guides have not been rolled out. However, if you put together a group of 10, the museum can set you up for a guided experience.
Drive and Parking: This is a short, easy drive to St. Petersburg with plenty of parking. The museum is a three-story building painted in beautiful blues. GPS will be helpful for the last few turns and streets.
Hours: Closed Mondays; open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays; 12-5 p.m. Sundays. Seniors, $13.
Special thanks Jane Buckman and DJ Stone at Imagine for their invaluable assistance.
1901 Central Ave.
St. Petersburg, FL 33713