MORGANTOWN , W.Va.In celebration of the Mountain States 146th birthday Saturday (June 20), the Blenko family is donating the newest addition of the West Virginia Birthday Blenko Glass Collection to West Virginia Universitys art collection. The latest collectible will become part of the complete 29-piece birthday collection given to the University in 2007 by student and former WVU Foundation scholar Hillary Homburg.
The Blenko Glass birthday pieces began in 1980, and since her birth, Homburga WVU dental student and Charleston nativeand her father have been in line waiting for their Blenko collectible every year on West Virginias birthday.
Before I was born, my Dad bought the birthday collection for me. Then in 1985, I was in line in personand every year thereafter,she said.
While I was a student helping with New Student Orientation, I decided to give my collection to WVU ,Homburg added.I realized that thousands of people visit campus. If Blenko glass was on display at the University, perhaps those people would develop an interest and want to visit the factory or buy some glass and take it home as a souvenir of their trip to West Virginia. These pieces represent a variety of Blenko designers who were major figures in the American glass scene, and decades of design and color.
When Homburg decided to donate her collection to WVU , the Blenko family agreed to make a gift each year of the companys annual birthday collectible to keep the collection intact.
According to the Blenko Glass Web site, the latest West Virginia birthday piece, Aqua Luna, is inspired by the states lakes and rivers, suggesting a rising moon over rippling waters. Its strong, confident form boldly announces its presence. Designed by Arlon Bayliss, the 16-inch tall special edition Sea Breeze decanter has a generous crystal stopper hovering over the wide, outstretched rim. Aqua Luna has contemporary proportions, yet is also classical in feeling.
The collectible series is the longest running, annually signed and numbered item that Blenko produces. The limited 146 pieces are available on West Virginias birthday (June 20) at the Blenko Glass Visitors Center in Milton.
The latest Blenko Glass collectible was given to WVU s art collection through the WVU Foundation, a private nonprofit corporation that generates, receives and administers private gifts for the benefit of WVU .