History of Glass Growers Gallery

In 1974, Glass Growers Gallery (GGG) opened its doors to showcase the work of John and Deb Vahanian. They took flat sheets of glass and made 3D objects: Geodesic domes, zomes, and quartz crystal shapes that became part of kinetic sculpture, terrariums, light fixtures, and windows. The name “Glass Growers” has its roots in that process. After learning they were dealing with toxic materials, Debby stopped “growing glass” and expanded the gallery’s representation of regional fine art and professional American crafts.

In 1982, GGG relocated to a renovated church building at 701 Holland St. In that spacious 2 ½ story building, Deb Vahanian began curating annual shows: Quilt, Watercolor, Kaleidoscope as well as other unique shows like the History of the Bicycle, the Carousel, Joseph Plavcan Student Retrospective, International Images, Women in Transition to name a few. GGG thrived there until 1999. At that time, the Erie Art Museum planned to expand. GGG chose to be its neighbor. 

Here at 10 E. 5th St. we offer quality & distinction in the form of regional fine art & gifts, curated corporate art installation services, and made-in-America custom awards & gifts. GGG was purchased by Emily Ernes in September of 2020 and the team carries forward the original intention of growing culture, celebrating imagination, and creating a vibrant and beautiful space for the community. 

Growing Glass

To the right: Original glass terrariums and flying machines created by Deb and John Vahanian in the 1970s.

Glass Growers Original Logo
Glass Growers 2nd and Plum

original storefront

To the left: The original location of Glass Growers Gallery on the corner of W. 2nd St. and Plum St. in downtown Erie, PA and the original sign/logo.