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LOCAL GLASS BLOWERS TO SHOWCASE THEIR ART AT THE MORTON ARBORETUM’S 2013 GLASS PUMPKIN PATCH

LISLE, IL (Sept. 27, 2013) – The Glass Pumpkin Patch returns to The Morton Arboretum this fall from October 16 through October 20, with more than 3,000 pieces of hand crafted glass pumpkins, apples, gourds, acorns and more for sale. This year, the Arboretum welcomes several new glassblowing artists from the Chicagoland area.
 
19 glass artists work together to create the Glass Pumpkin Patch. Chicago-area artists this year include:
 
Mike Amis
Michael received his diploma in product design from the Kent Institute of Art and Design and continued on to the University of Wolverhampton, West Midlands, UK, where he earned a BA with honors in glass. He received an MFA from Illinois State University in 1998. After graduation, he designed and built a hot shop for Kokomo Opalescent Glass in Kokomo, Ind., where he worked as a studio director, designer, and gaffer until he opened his own studio in October 2007 in Bloomington, Ill.
 
Holly Behrends
Holly Behrends graduated from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale with a bachelor of fine arts degree in painting in 2006. While in school she was exposed to numerous materials and fell in love with glass. In 2007 she started working at Chicago Hot Glass as a shop technician and instructor for the Holiday Ball workshop classes.
 
Mary Rose ‘Rosey’ Merkin
Mary Rose Merkin was born and raised in Downers Grove, Ill. Rosey received a BFA from the School of Art and Design at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. She attends glass-focused workshops and creativity conferences. She is a technician at Chicago Hot Glass and is lab supervisor in the Glass Art Classroom at New Trier Township High School.
 
Kit Paulson
Kit Paulson received her bachelor of fine arts degree from Alfred University in western New York in 2004. Since then, she has assisted a number of glass artists and honed her skills as a glassblower in a variety of studios. She has taught at studios in the Chicago area. Kit Paulson lives in Chicago, Ill.
 
Jeff Alan Smart
Jeffrey Alan Smart began working with glass in 2000 when he took his first class at Talisman Glass in Chicago. He went on to study glass through the Chicago Art Institute, Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY, and Ox-Bow in Saugatuck, Mich. In 2003, Jeff began working from his home studio as well as collaborating with George Tessman of GT Glassworks. Working with soft glass and Borosilicate glass gives him an unparalleled perspective allowing him to create a variety of unique pieces.
 
George Tessman
George grew up in Highland, Ind. Even at a young age George had an interest in the arts, but he didn’t discover glass until 2000. After delving into stained glass and fusing, he found his passion in hot glass. George works out of his own studio.
 
About the Glass Pumpkin Patch
From Wednesday, October 16 through Sunday, October 20, the third annual Glass Pumpkin Patch will feature 3,000 glass pumpkins and other autumnal designs such as apples, gourds, acorns, and more. The Glass Pumpkin Patch will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and is free with Arboretum admission.
 
Visitors can watch a free glass-blowing demonstration, meet the artists, and walk through the Glass Pumpkin Patch to see finished pieces in a wide variety of styles, sizes and colors. The Glass Pumpkin Patch will be open for viewing and glass blowing demonstrations on Wednesday and Thursday as well as on Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
 
The pieces will be available for sale starting at 1 p.m. Friday, October 18. The pumpkins and autumnal designs range from $35 to $300 per item based on the artist’s experience level, techniques used, color, size and style of the pumpkin, and are only available for sale at the annual Patch.
 
The event is co-produced with Shannon Jane Morgan, of Girl Glass Studio in Sacramento, Calif.
 
About The Morton Arboretum
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized outdoor tree museum on 1,700 acres. Plant collections, scientific research and education programs support the mission to plant and conserve trees and other plants for a greener, healthier and more beautiful world. Designed with natural landscapes, the grounds include the award-winning, four-acre interactive Children’s Garden, the one-acre Maze Garden, plus specialty gardens, 16 miles of trails and nine miles of roads. Visitor experiences include the open-air tram ride, guided walks, Arbor Day celebrations, concerts, art shows, Fall Color Festival, and special exhibits. The Arboretum welcomes more than 800,000 visitors annually and serves more than 35,600 members. Located 25 miles west of Chicago in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open daily 7 a.m. until sunset. Learn more at mortonarb.org.
 
Nonmember admission rates to The Morton Arboretum are $12 for adults ages 18-64 ($8 on Wednesday), $11 for seniors ages 65 and over ($7 on Wednesday), $9 for children ages 2-17 ($6 on Wednesday) and free for children under age 2. Parking is free with admission.