The inaugural Glass Pumpkin Patch presented by The Holland Center, a nonprofit organization that aims to uplift education, arts and community in the Desert Foothills region, will be open from Oct. 16 through Oct. 18 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Part of the proceeds from the pumpkin patch, which will showcase more than 1,000 handmade, fairytale-like glass pumpkins crafted by local glass artist Gregory Tomb, will benefit the Desert Foothills Theater.
“The purpose of the glass pumpkin patch fundraiser is to share my love of making glass while contributing to a community,” Tomb says. “I’ve been blowing glass for over 20 years, and October and glass pumpkins have become a staple for fun glass crafts. I am trying to do what I love while doing some good to the communities around me.”
Tomb has been a fan of glass art since his childhood, and studied glassblowing as an art student at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York. At Hartwick College, Tomb explored a large variety of artistic interests, but glass art remained a deep passion of his. Tomb has been awarded “best in glass” and acted as a feature artist at the Nassau County Museum of Art, the Stuart Art Festival, the Hampton Fine Art Festival and the Scottsdale Artfest.
Since 2013, Tomb has been a glassblowing teacher at the Bay Area Glass Institute, as well as an instructor from his own mobile studio. Tomb’s whimsical glass pumpkins have been covered in magazines and featured in museums around the nation, and in Phoenix, they act as a perfect synthesis of art and autumn while benefiting Arizona’s creative community.
“I make glass pumpkins all year round to be ready for these events and to sell in other retail venues,” Tomb says. “Pumpkins are the craft which helps me practice my designs and pay for the larger works. They’re small and beautiful, more broadly collected than that of my larger work.”
Tomb currently serves as the Holland Center’s artist-in-residence, and is looking forward to sharing his glass pumpkin work with the Desert Foothills community for a worthy cause. “My favorite thing is the variety of pumpkins and people’s reactions,” Tomb says. “People can look forward to seeing a lot of color.”
The Holland Center, formerly the Foothills Community Foundation, is a nonprofit dedicated to cultivating Arizona arts and culture through celebrating the desert landscape and encouraging lifelong learning. Formed in 1986 through a merger of the Foothills Future Committee and the Carefree Improvement Association, the Holland Center strives for community enrichment through arts, education, and community service programs for all generations.
Desert Foothills Theater, formed in 1975, is an award-winning community theater that seeks to welcome all members of the Phoenix community into the magic of theater to challenge, inspire and explore. “The purpose of this event is to benefit the Foothills Community Theater, which provides great theatrical programming for north Scottsdale,” Tomb says. “They’re raising funds for programming and to contribute to the new venue.”
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