Čeština

History

The beginning of the International Glass Symposium dates to 1982 when Crystalex in Nový Bor managed something almost impossible. The idea of an international meeting of glassmakers in totalitarian Czechoslovakia became reality. Crystalex invited artists and designers from all over the world to its workshops. Nearly 50 artists from thirteen countries came to realize their artistic ideas with the help of the local glassmakers. More than 300 exhibits were created. Thirty-nine years later, the program structure and the basic idea of the symposium still follow the tradition founded by Crystalex. Many artists also return to Nový Bor regularly. However, the symposium has changed with the time as well. The visit of artists from the "West" is no longer considered exotic and thanks to IGS we can still show the whole world that Czech glassmakers have not lost any of their famous craftsmanship. IGS has become one of the most important international events in the art glass field and during its existence it has hosted about six hundred artists from all over the world. To make the symposium attractive also for the public, not only glass artists are invited to participate, but also designers, painters, sculptors, architects, personalities from among fashion and jewelry designers, street art and pop culture, which turns every IGS into a four-day experience marathon. The world is being introduced to Nový Bor, Liberec Region and the Czech Republic as a significant glass destination. The event has an enormous significance for the local glass region, for promotion of Czech glass and Czech glassmaking craft in the world, it contributes to preserving intangible cultural inheritance, and finally, it has an important collecting function.

The beginning of the International Glass Symposium dates to 1982 when Crystalex in Nový Bor managed something almost impossible. The idea of an international meeting of glassmakers in totalitarian Czechoslovakia became reality. Crystalex invited artists and designers from all over the world to its workshops. Nearly 50 artists from thirteen countries came to realize their artistic ideas with the help of the local glassmakers. More than 300 exhibits were created. Thirty-nine years later, the program structure and the basic idea of the symposium still follow the tradition founded by Crystalex. Many artists also return to Nový Bor regularly. However, the symposium has changed with the time as well. The visit of artists from the "West" is no longer considered exotic and thanks to IGS we can still show the whole world that Czech glassmakers have not lost any of their famous craftsmanship. IGS has become one of the most important international events in the art glass field and during its existence it has hosted about six hundred artists from all over the world. To make the symposium attractive also for the public, not only glass artists are invited to participate, but also designers, painters, sculptors, architects, personalities from among fashion and jewelry designers, street art and pop culture, which turns every IGS into a four-day experience marathon. The world is being introduced to Nový Bor, Liberec Region and the Czech Republic as a significant glass destination. The event has an enormous significance for the local glass region, for promotion of Czech glass and Czech glassmaking craft in the world, it contributes to preserving intangible cultural inheritance, and finally, it has an important collecting function.

The symposium in 2012 was characterized by a very busy student section and interesting results of the work of beginning artists. In addition, IGS presented itself in advance with the exhibition Born in Fire at the Prague Castle premises. The IGS partnership was accepted by the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague which developed into a permanent collaboration. For the first time, the public had the opportunity to set off on the Glass Path, which introduced visitors to several studios, galleries, showrooms, shops and other establishments associated with glass production, crafts and art.

IGS 2015 was probably the largest in its scope. More than 70 personalities received invitations to participate. However, this brought the IGS to the very limit of its capacity. Participant couples made up of fathers and sons showed that the love of glass is inherited from generation to generation. Mgr. Milan Hlaveš Ph.D., curator of the IGS 2015, came with the idea to create IGS Hall of Fame and first personalities that were chosen to be inducted were René and Miluše Roubíček. In 2018, they were joined by Jiří Šuhájek. In 2021 the nomination was accepted by prof. Vladimír Kopecký.

Historically, anniversaries which include number eight are important for the Czech Republic. In October 2018, we commemorated the 100th anniversary of the establishment of an independent Czechoslovakia, and same year we welcomed participants of XIII IGS in Nový Bor and briefly presented to them our century-old history in the form of video mapping during the final evening. XIII IGS had also the highest number of organizers in the IGS history. There was a total of sixteen cooperating entities which provided workspace for more than 50 participants in their operations.

In 2021, the town of Nový Bor will become the main organizer of the IGS for the fifth time, and at the turn of September and October, the small North-Bohemian glass town will once again become a real international glass metropolis for a few days. Compared to 2009, the symposium has acquired a much larger scope. The number of organizers and participants has increased and IGS has strengthened its global prestige. Despite all the changes that glassmaking has undergone, and which have also affected IGS, Nový Bor region is still exceptional when it comes to its offer of glass processing technologies - from mechanical production, handmade glass to an extremely wide range of refining techniques. Such a concentration and richness of glass production is completely unique and thus provides unique conditions for IGS.

The IGS phenomenon is still alive, and in 2021 the fourteenth stone will be added. Each of the symposia was unique and XIV IGS will not be different. It will forever be recorded in history in connection with the worldwide covid-19 pandemic, which marked its preparations, course and selection of participants. With the motto Glass without boundaries, the organizers wanted to express the hope that the symposium will be held despite the conditions restricting travelling. At the beginning of 2021, it was not clear whether the symposium could be held in the presence of the public and what measures would be necessary to take for its organization. Therefore, the organizers considered various variants, including organizing just the Czech or Czech-Slovak symposium, but eventually began to prepare the symposium in a traditional arrangement.

In addition, Glass without boundaries shall point out the wide range of creative possibilities that glass offers, but also characterize the organizational structure of the symposium and the cooperation of organizing entities such as the town of Nový Bor, glass companies, glass schools and museum institutions in the Nový Bor region.

What will the fourteenth chapter in the history of IGS look like? We will find the answer at the end of October 2021. Those who want to experience IGS and Glass without boundaries on their own can come to Nový Bor from September 30th to October 3rd. It is still a place where glass production and art are a living, leading and original phenomenon. Come to Nový Bor to see for yourself in October 2021.

For the IGS organizing team
RNDr. Alena Forgáčová
IGS Secretary 2009-2021

Hall of Fame IGS 2018 - Jiří Šuhájek


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Hall of Fame IGS 2015 - René Roubíček and Miluše Roubíčková


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IGS 2012

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IGS 2009

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