Royal Oak’s Habatat Galleries Hosts International Glass Exhibition

On an industrial corner near Normandy Oaks Park in Royal Oak, an assortment of nondescript buildings are home to auto repair shops, landscaping companies and a tanning salon. Construction vehicles hum on a nearby work area. Street signs warn of a dead end.

But tucked among the cinder blocks in an understated black building is Habatat Galleries Detroit, the nation’s oldest and largest art gallery devoted solely to the medium of glass. The stark, dramatically lit space is buzzing with life as workers put the finishing touches on the gallery’s 50th annual International Glass exhibition, which officially opens Saturday night.

A glass sculpture by John and Kate Littleton Vogel, entitled 'Discovery, 2015,' is on display for the 50th Annual International Exhibition at Habatat Galleries in Royal Oak, Thursday, April 28, 2022. Exhibition debuts on Saturday, April 30, 2022 and is open to the public.  The gallery is the oldest and largest of its kind in the country and was recently passed from founder Ferdinand Hampson to his two sons Aaron Schey and Corey Hampson.

“Because we’re off the track here on the edge of Royal Oak, our (foot traffic) is usually pretty minimal,” said Habatat co-owner Aaron Schey. “So we’re trying to get more people to join us in the celebrations.

The show, which is free and open to the public, was founded in 1972 by Habatat founder Ferdinand Hampson. It welcomes the world’s most renowned glass artists to travel to metro Detroit to display their work in person – a feat that will be possible again this year for the first time since 2019.

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