Every February, the city of Miami hosts one of the most unique borosilicate glass shows in the world. Deemed the 1k Show, this annual event combines the budding cannabis and glass scene in Florida with artists from around the globe to give collectors an affordable shot at owning otherwise expensive work. In only its third year, the show has continued to grow in popularity in both attendance and size, showcasing over 100 artists this year to the public for free.
Organizers Errl Chamo and Jay Stax have teamed up year after year to procure some of the best art from both new and established artists from around the world. While collecting glass and consuming hash is nothing new to them, it has definitely been a learning experience hosting the 1k Show at different venues. Miami has a deep history with art, and the current scene is thriving with events like Art Basel and spaces like the Wynwood Yards. The story that led to the first year starts a few months before the inaugural event. It involves artists in the glass community and an intriguing conversation that sparked it.
“Basically I was speaking with two glass artist friends about my complaints in the industry,” Jay Stax tells High Times. “Mostly about how pieces were sold before shows even opened, backdoor deals were done, and a lot of the events were huge money grabs. I told them how I wanted to go to an event where everything was the same affordable price. That way it didn’t matter if you were some small no-name artist or a large established one like Banjo, because your price was the same no matter what. The idea was that the people would come to the show and be more focused on the art than the price that they were paying.”
Stax also shed light on what glass artists take away from the show. “A glass artist could use this opportunity to show love to those who have collected their work and seen it go well beyond the $1000 price tag and also give new collectors a chance to still get their work at an affordable price that they would normally not sell at.”
“I think it’s the good-hearted nature of the event and the fact that collectors keep coming back, which really drives [the artists] to keep submitting.”
Some artists have submitted their art all three years, indicating commitment and dedication to the ideas behind the show. Typically, these artists sell their pieces for well over the $1,000 ticket. But the playing field becomes level by making these products accessible to collectors who otherwise wouldn’t be able to purchase them. Sure, artists take a loss by submitting a piece for a lot less than they can sell it elsewhere, but the ability to put their art in the hands of anyone is something that sets this show aside from most.
Oregon artist John Dillinger has been blowing glass for over 19 years. He’s also acquired a large following of collectors during this time, but still takes the time to submit entries. Submitting piece the last two years, the experienced glassblower says he gets a lot out of the event.
“I like the concept behind the 1k Show because of the price point and the people that are running the show,” Dillinger says. “It is good exposure for my work, and shows that artists are still kicking in the glass scene.”
Although the majority were Florida-residents, lots of attendees traveled from as far as Texas, Colorado, California, and Massachusetts to check out the art. More than 100 people lined up at 4pm, making the competition to get a popular submission in the show a lot harder. While not everyone walked out with a piece, most people who arrived early were there to invest in glass.
In typical “bigger and better every year” fashion, the 1k Show has grown in size with every event. The artist list has continued to impress with over 100 different names, and the supporters continue to return, which is why the organizers make sure to switch things up.
“Our artist lineup changes every year to bring fresh art to our collectors,” Errl Chamo explains. “Not only do we exhibit recognized names, but we also showcase worldwide up and coming artists. For example, this year Japanese artist Azul’s entries were scooped by a local collector that fell in love with the work not even knowing who the artist was.”
Although glass was the medium that took center stage there were other forms of art on display, too. Artists Emerge710, Wook Wookerson, and Louichyz had canvas art and graffiti work available for purchase as well. Wookerson’s “No Deal” art line showcased his unique approach at social commentary, in addition to cannabis and nostalgic cartoon references. Emerge710 spent the event live-painting a Darth Vader mural on a brick wall that was eventually displayed upon completion. Simultaneously, Florida-based artist Louichyz was live-painting a psychedelic cat.
Attendees seem to be very appreciative of the opportunity to have access to art they’d otherwise have to shell out more money to acquire.
“The idea of a show where artists of every caliber offer pieces for the same exact price point is absolutely revolutionary,” says TrapWook, who traveled from Buffalo, New York, to make it to the show. “I was traveling to different glass shows for three to four years before attending the first 1k Show in 2017, and most of the time the setups were the same: you brought as much cash as you could, and hoped to find a piece in your price range that wasn’t already purchased.”
1K Show’s organizers have already announced that they’ll be seeing everyone again early next year for another installment, according to their Instagram. Until then, leftover pieces remain on sale and entries from the show are available as well on their site.