Sunday at the SGAA Summer Conference

Email by Elizabeth Steinebach on July 13, 2008
Categories Filed Under: ARTICLE

The Minority Report:

Sunday morning. What is it about Sunday's that just say, sleep in, relax, it's the last day of rest before the work week starts to grind? Seemed especially quiet and calm today. I suspect many attendees were distracted and aware of the trips home that they would soon be departing for.

Cappy Thompson's presentation was wonderful. She has found her authentic style and symbols of expression and they suit her down to the ground. She shared her personal story in a trans-personal way, offering each one of us an opportunity to connect. She painstakingly paints the interiors of large blown vessels, up to a couple of feet in size, like a carousel, each vase spins a thread of the yarn, where groups of vases become a particular story. Colorful and bright, despite some poignant moments, its all in the glass.

She shared this past work, as a means of developing an understanding of the intimacy of her work, so when the commission came to translate this small scale into a curtain wall, we were carried by the relationship, regardless of the size.

My regrets that I cannot find my notes on Paul Marioni's lecture, at the moment. The section meeting luncheon, sort of fell apart, as we were running late. The view was however spectacular, at the Marriott Toppers, as the sky's were finally starting to clear.

The reason for the long pause in my finishing up the reports, was because of the SGAA general meeting. I have been trying to find the words to politely share my difference of opinion, hence the title – the minority report. I learned a lot about the SGAA this trip, good and bad, that I would not have learned from reading the Quarterly. The SGAA prides itself, as a trade organization, so based on the presentation and discussion at the general meeting, I believe that it is foolhardy to attempt to build a stained glass school. I can appreciate the prestige and guidance that such a facility could offer and see its development mired in many issues, least of which is assuming that the trade organization can become educators. This is all I will say to this issue. I suggest if you feel strongly, one way or the other, please contact the SGAA, volunteer to serve on the committees and by all means attend next year's conference. Your personal interaction will help you better decide for yourself.

It was clear that many did not stay for the awards dinner. I circled the foyer easily, stopping to chat with the few I knew and that were still there. The banquet hall now accommodated a dance floor, where the night before at least two more tables stood. I met and chatted with Father Lucas for a few moments, he was not going to offer any pre-lecture tidbits, so I just had to wait. His presentation was delightful. How two women, under his guidance, in Shanghai, were building the windows for the cathedral there. How two cultures were trying to wrestle with symbolism and color, and who was winning. How a man of the cloth could smuggle in sheets of glass in his luggage – you didn't hear that here. There were great images and Father Lucas put the whole of the project into context, with history and mention of key players. He wrapped up shortly before nine. By the way the hall emptied, I guess everyone was looking for an early evening or a dash to the airport.