For artist Jeff Mack, every frothy glass of beer raises not only a toast, but a question: “Who made this cup?”
Believe it or not, glass artists are always looking at the intention behind the everyday objects we use,” Mack said. This is one reason Mack, a master glass artist and studio manager at the Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion, is participating in Circle 2445’s Artoberfest. The event, an art-inspired take on the annual Oktoberfest tradition, will be held at the Glass Pavilion from 7–10 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 18.
Mack is part of Circle 2445, the Museum membership group orchestrating the salute not only to the golden brew but also to the historical and contemporary glass containers used to imbibe it.
Dustin Hostetler, a graphic artist who chairs Circle 2445, says the organization is dedicated to engaging adults ages 24 to 45 with the Museum. They hope to draw interest with Artoberfest’s tastings of beers, such as Angry Orchard Crisp Apple, and wines, like Lapostolle Casa Sauvignon Blanc, while educating them about the Museum’s storied glass collection.
“No question we have the best venue in town,” Hostetler said. “The Museum as a backdrop makes for an extra special party. Seeing how people coming to our events are reacting to the collection when it’s reframed specifically for them is just proof that events like these have great potential to connect art to younger people’s lives.”
While sampling various beers and wines, attendees can watch goblets and beer steins being made during live glassblowing demos and embark on a scavenger hunt of the Museum’s centuries-old glass cups and containers. Items on the hunt include a German wine glass from the year 1661, stamped with raspberry-shaped prunts at its base to help the drinker keep a firm grip on the glass.
It is from an era before the widespread use of forks, when hands tended to get greasy during a meal. Partygoers will also search for an American flask from the early 19th century, which represents a time when “communal binge drinking” increased, dramatically expanding the demand for portable flasks.
Participants in the scavenger hunt will be entered for a chance to win a handmade drinking vessel created by Mack, while others will have the opportunity to bid on similar items during a silent auction.
The evening’s creative take on Oktoberfest extends to the menu, which includes hors d’oeuvres ranging from bratwurst with balsamic caramelized red cabbage to apple strudel shots with pastry crème.
There will also be live music from Nathan Roberts and the New Birds as well as a DJ in the Hot Shop, turning the live glassblowing location into a lounge area.
Tickets, ranging from $25 to $40 depending on Museum membership level, are available in advance online at circle2445.eventbrite.com or at the door. Circle 2445 is offering those who join the organization one free ticket to the event.