Built and funded by the ACT Government, Canberra Glassworks is Australia’s only cultural centre that is wholly dedicated to contemporary glass art.
At its core Canberra Glassworks is a working Glassworks that provides access to glassmaking facilities for glass artists.
Canberra Glassworks provides artists with state-of-the-art equipment; intensive workshops taught by leading glass artists; studios and mentorship programs; and a unique context to explore, develop and realise new work.
Canberra Glassworks also provides diverse opportunities for visitors to interact with and learn about glass making and the heritage of Canberra’s Kingston Powerhouse. Visitors can meet artists, see glassmaking as it happens, view exhibitions, take tours and have a hands-on experience working with glass.
The Kingston Powerhouse was listed on the National Estate Register on 1 November 1983 as an historical building, and included on the ACT Heritage Places Register. It is a building of industrial and architectural significance that is a landmark on its lakeside setting. It was one of the first permanent buildings of Canberra and was of social importance in the early years of the city.
Numerous ideas emerged concerning the fate of the Powerhouse and its land after its permanent closure in 1957 ranging from demolition for housing to warehouse space. In the mid eighties the idea was explored to turn the space into an Australian Cultural Centre, though by 1995 no action had been taken. The establishment of the Canberra Glassworks in May 2007, located in this historic Powerhouse, is a landmark project for the ACT community that has local, national and international significance. The project builds on the success of glass artists from the Canberra Region, and is the only centre of its kind in Australia.