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October 18, 2013

Art on fire

Howard County to feature glass art in different locations

Kokomo — Art is crafted in different forms by people who see life through a window of creativity. For glassmakers, that window is made from the media they crave to work with: a molten, viscous mixture. This weekend’s Art On Fire puts glassmakers and their creations in the spotlight, as Howard County is celebrated as one of 17 counties on the Indiana Glass Trail.

The three-day event, today through Sunday, showcases Howard County’s rich history in glass making and illustrates its still-growing culture through demonstrations, art exhibits and more in stops scattered throughout Kokomo.

Glassmaking dates back to its origination in the Middle East about 2,000 years ago, but its history in Howard County isn’t by any means short.

One of the Art on Fire stops is the Seiberling Mansion, a master of a mansion built by Monroe Seiberling who came to Kokomo, like many others, during the gas boom of the 1800s that helped glassmaking get its start in Kokomo and Greentown.

Dave Broman, executive director of the Howard County Historical Society, said the gas boom brought both industrial glass and artistic glass to the county — both of which can be seen in the mansion regularly and the special exhibits that will be featured for the Art on Fire weekend.

Broman added popular collections such as Jenkins glass, Bournique glass and a few pieces from Indiana Tumbler and Goblet Company, which was founded in Greentown, will be on display at the Seiberling Mansion for people to appreciate all weekend.

“It’s a very natural fit for [us to be a location for Art on Fire] for a couple of reasons. Monroe Seiberling started a glass company for plate glass during the gas boom and that’s why the Seiberling Mansion is here,” Broman said before explaining the Seiberling Mansion’s beautiful ties to glassmaking. “The mansion itself has stained glass windows using Kokomo Opalescent Glass. Visitors can see gorgeous stained glass windows. Some are original, some are replacements, all from Kokomo Opalescent Glass and restored by Kokomo Opalescent Glass artists.”

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