The International Guild of Miniature Artisans has been in existence for more than 35 years, and there has been a Guild Show in every one of those years, after all, putting on a quality show and sale was one of the fundamental reasons for creating the Guild. This year’s Guild Show is now just around the corner and there are many reasons to celebrate and join in the festivities!
This year, 2017, marks the Guild Show’s premier at the lovely Hartford/Windsor Marriott hotel, in Hartford, Connecticut. Classes will be taking place Tuesday through Friday, September 19-22, and while registration has been very strong, there are still a few spots available and some really neat projects on the schedule. We have been very fortunate that some premier teachers were willing to stop over in Hartford on their way home from the Miniature Masterworks show and to teach and take a table at the Guild Show. Check out the list of classes on the Guild website, but pay particular attention to the cut-off dates if you find yourself interested in signing up!
Other festivities are on the agenda, including the delicious and edifying Desserts and Demonstrations event that will take place Friday evening. Join your mini friends and make some new ones while you watch artist demonstrations and enjoy desserts and crudités. Saturday evening there will be a rollicking good time at the Live Auction with our masterful auctioneer Duffy Wineman, followed by a buffet dinner and presentation by Kaye Browning, as she shares her path into miniatures collecting.
It will be a fabulous weekend and I hope you will be able to join us for all, or any part of it!
Guild School has many fun components besides the actual classes. If you’ve gotten in early, you may have taken part in one of the first optional extras, a Saturday morning seminar. Seminars also take place on Sunday and Monday evenings, if you didn’t sign up for one before getting to school, there are sign up sheets in the school office for any that have spaces remaining.
Curious about what’s going on in the other classes? All the classrooms are open on Sunday or Monday evenings prior to the seminars, some buildings one night, the remaining buildings on the other so that you’ll have a chance to visit as many, or as few, as you wish.
Every night, there is a social gathering in what is commonly called ‘The Bilge’, downstairs in Curtis Hall. Just pop in anytime before 11 p.m. and enjoy a beverage and snack along with some conversation and occasional game playing. Each evening is ‘hosted’ by different groups within the IGMA organization, so a variety of questions can often be answered by your friendly bartenders.
Silent auctions take place in the cafeteria daily. Have a look during one of your meal breaks and place a bid if something looks interesting to you. Monday evening there is an open bid silent auction during dinner, and Tuesday evening, right after the infamous Lobster Cookout, is the Live Auction with many one of a kind items donated by teachers and some of the Guild’s Artisan and Fellow members. I understand that this year there will be a special silent auction running outside the cafeteria for the first couple of days-hint…they’re calling it ‘Real Estate Row!’
Wednesday night is supposed to be rest and relaxation night, but there are no hallway monitors and if you relax best by working on one of your class projects until midnight, that’s on you, just no whining the next day when you can’t see where that tiny nail flew off to!
I hesitate to say Thursday night is one of the highlights of the week as most of the previous nights can lay claim to that moniker, but on Thursday, everyone gets to shop–no more of that putting a bid in and hoping you get it here–it’s a manic hour and a half of shopping along with a cash bar-which always helps the shopping along, and snacks.
The exhibit room opens for the first viewing Saturday evening during the opening reception and remains open during the entire week, as long as there is someone to staff it. Exhibits on view are provided by attending students and teachers. Do you have something you’d like to share? A piece you made that came out particularly well, or something you truly love that you purchased? Just let the exhibit chair know what you’re bringing and there will be a label waiting for its arrival. Saturday evening whatever class prototypes are available will be on display, to be followed the rest of the week by available prototypes for future classes. And, if you have a free period, consider volunteering to man the front desk and help keep the exhibit room open as much as possible.
Of course the Guild’s message is most strongly evident at our own show where the Guild mission is front and center across the entire event, but in order to get our message to the widest possible audience, IGMA also maintains a presence at other shows. At the Chicago International Show, Tom Bishop very kindly assists us by providing time and space at what might be the world’s largest dollhouse miniatures event, its certainly the largest in the United States. This year the Chicago International runs from April 21-23, with workshops held in the days preceding the show. The Guild adds to the show’s list of events with a gala auction, an introductory presentation, a membership table and a sales gallery stocked with pieces created by its Artisan and Fellow members.
Friday night’s gala auction will feature many one of a kind pieces donated by Guild members and a lively repartee between the audience and the auctioneer, this year that will be Bill Robertson holding the gavel. When two bidders are determined to come out on top, the bidding can soar, but many items are had for very reasonable prices and its a great place to find vintage treasures.
Saturday evening the Guild presentation comes at the end of sales hours and offers an introduction to the Guild and its many programs. The presentation wraps up with a look at Guild School, complete with photos and a brief panel discussion by teachers, students and guests about the whole school experience.
The IGMA membership table and the Gallery of the Guild tables can be found in the center aisle of the Blue Ballroom. The Guild Administrator, Carol Hardy and Guild School Director, Barbara Davis will be there to answer questions on the organization and school. Carol Block and other volunteers will be behind the Gallery table, ready to help you select from the amazing work of Guild members.