Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw once wrote, “You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.” A seamless blending of the two is the realm of the Studio Glass Movement. Born in the second half of the 20th century, this art movement is all about the use of glass for artistic and decorative purposes. Where before, glass was seen as practical, the Studio Glass Movement changed the way that people looked at glass.
And there is no one who has brought the past history and the future innovation of this movement to Pinellas County in the way that Trish Duggan has done—through the 48,000 square feet of St. Petersburg’s Imagine Museum.
The Imagine Museum shows 500 of its 1,500-piece collection on a daily basis, taking the visitor through a history of the Studio Glass Movement. It also hosts special exhibits.
“The pieces of art are truly extraordinary,” said one visitor. “Beautifully laid out and lighted, the artwork is showcased to show how complex the works really are.”
As extraordinary as the museum is to the thousands who have visited, Duggan, the woman behind the museum, is equally extraordinary.
Duggan is an experienced entrepreneur and accomplished glass artist in her own right and has created a prolific 5,000 glass art pieces and 5,000 woodblock prints in the last five years.
Philanthropy and helping others are also causes close to Duggan’s heart. She supports addict recovery with the Narconon drug rehabilitation program, University of California at Santa Barbara—her alma mater—and The Way to Happiness so others can lead themselves to a more ethical and fulfilling life.
Duggan now resides in sunny Clearwater, and at her core is the desire to help others and create a saner, happier world. Through her art, her museum and her philanthropy she has done just that.