Glassblowing Added to Art Experiences at Albany Museum of Art ChalkFest 2022

Staff Report

Tuesday, October 18th, 2022

Glassblowing will be the hot new thing at Albany Museum of Art ChalkFest on Saturday, Nov 19, 2022, in downtown Albany.

Art students from Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus will demonstrate their glassblowing skills as they form glass art objects by inflating molten glass into a bubble with the aid of a blowpipe. The glassblowing demonstration area is the latest art addition to the 5th annual festival.

Presented by Publix, AMA ChalkFest will be 10 am-5 pm on South Front Street and at Veterans Park Amphitheatre. Admission is free for everyone.

“AMA ChalkFest promises to be a phenomenal event this year,” Albany Museum of Art Executive Director Andrew J. Wulf, Ph.D., said. “We shall have a dozen professional chalk artists creating 50-square-foot artworks on the pavement, Chris Johnson making prints using a steamroller as his press, and GSW students creating glass-blown pieces of art. These are all fascinating media that festival-goers can witness all at once.”

In addition to the art demonstrations, AMA ChalkFest will feature live music and entertainment all day on the amphitheater stage sponsored by the James M. Barnett, Jr. Foundation; a kids and family activity area sponsored by Vine Vision; craft beer tents and libation stations for adults; art and other vendors, and food trucks. Kids attending the festival will be given complimentary chalk packs sponsored by WebstaurantStore.

“It’s shaping up to be the best ChalkFest yet,” AMA Director of Development and Public Programming Chloe Hinton said. “With the new location, parking at the Civic Center will be convenient thanks to our partners at the Flint River Entertainment Complex. We’re hoping for beautiful fall weather that will have everyone in the mood to enjoy the art, music, activities, tastings, and food.”

Georgia Southwestern State students pursuing a BFA with a concentration in glass, which GSW has offered since the 1960s, often participate in live demonstrations at events where they create pieces of art from molten glass in front of attendees. The university’s first glass-blowing studio was created by Ralph Harvey in Crawford Wheatley Hall, and GSW now houses the only public glass-blowing program in Georgia.

Lexi Glass, a GSW art student and an intern at the AMA, said that while glass art created at the festival will not be available for purchase, other glass-blown pieces made by the students will be available. She said live demonstrations of glassblowing art will be conducted throughout the day.

“It is awesome to have these different ways of creating art together at a single event,” Director of Education and Public Programming Annie Vanoteghem said. “Plus, we will have spaces available for community artists, school groups, and others to join in the fun by creating chalk art pieces. There is no cost to participate, but we have a limited number of spaces available on a first-come, first-served basis.”

Director of Operations Jazz Kendrick said the response from food trucks and vendors for space at AMA ChalkFest has been good, but added there is still time to sign up.

The theme for this year’s festival is “Heroes,” inspired by the current AMA exhibition Fighters for Freedom: William H. Johnson Picturing Justice, which is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum with generous support provided by Art Bridges. In his Fighters for Freedom series, Johnson painted his heroes, people who fought for civil rights and world peace. At AMA Chalkfest: Heroes, professional and amateur chalk artists are being asked to create images of their heroes.

For information on AMA ChalkFest: Heroes and links to secure sign-ups for professional and amateur artists, vendors, food trucks, and volunteers, visit