CHAMPS is returning to Atlantic City for the ninth straight year
A new season of the Glass Games begins again. It’s almost like baseball! The veterans and rookies meet in February at training camp; then the season gets underway in the spring.
In late February, the Glass Games, a staple of CHAMPS Trade Shows since 2010, held its Master’s Final competition in Las Vegas. Thirty-seven contestants, representing the top prizewinners of the 2018 Glass Games competitions, competed for cash prizes. Now the cycle begins again.
CHAMPS is returning to Atlantic City for the ninth straight year where 48 entrants are expected to light their torches—along with their imaginations—and create functional art glass live! That means attendees of this East Coast CHAMPS event get to watch in awe as these veritable sorcerers of the glass world perform their magic.
What’s functional glass art, you ask? Essentially, it’s a piece of art that you can use to smoke. And, right now, there’s no hotter artist crafting functional glass art than Shayla Behrman.
In 2018, the Colorado-based artist grabbed five prizes in Glass Games competitions, including first price in the “Critter” category last year in Atlantic City. But she solidified her position as an elite artist at the recent 2019 Masters Final. Bonelord’s piece won the top prize, judged by an expert panel. Shayla placed fourth overall in that category, but her piece—what she called a “multi-functional, triple goddess lamp,” lit with LED bulbs—was honored with both the People’s Choice Award and the Artists” Choice Award. The 29-year-old glassblower was in tears when she accepted her awards.
“I was blown away,” she says. “Being recognized by my peers and fellow competitors was so great and knowing that the people at the show were fans, too, was just overwhelming.”
Shayla, a single mom with a five-year-old daughter, has been creating glass art for only five years, but says she was smitten the moment she was introduced to the craft. “I knew what I wanted to do the rest of my life,” she says. “It was love at first sight!”
She started on the production line at Starphyre Studios in Pueblo. Her ability evolved to the point where she opened her own studio and now runs a thriving business. She says she’s proud to be part of the glass art community. “We’re a close-knit group,” she explains. “We help each other and root for each other.”
Shayla will return to Atlantic City with 47 other artists, when CHAMPS will mount its second, huge B2B trade show of the year (May 21-23) and host another Glass Games spectacle. Artists will compete for $10,000 in prize money and the competition, as always, will be hot—pun intended!